Archive for December, 2010

December 30, 2010

The Virtues of Bing maps

Stamen Design says “I like Bing Maps and I cannot lie”.

Bing view of San Francisco

Interface and level of detail

I feel the same way.

A Crime Spotting Bing Map

Bing Maps can be, and often are, well, amazing.

Tags:
December 30, 2010

OAuth Playground

 

oauth

 

OAuth Playground.

December 17, 2010

Enterprise Maps and Earth

Google Earth in Sky Viewing Mode

This is another location-based service (LBS), similar but larger scale than those developed by foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook.

Google Earth and Maps for organizations

Google is different because it realizes that only a small consumer segment will remain active LBS users, in light of news about negative impact on
privacy rights.

As clear from the name, Google Earth and Maps for Enterprise is targeted toward businesses:

Make it easy for your employees to view, understand, and make decisions about location-based information. Incorporate your company’s data into Google Maps and Google Earth to be shared quickly and easily with colleagues and clients. The intuitive Google mapping applications require little or no training; your staff and customers will immediately realize the benefits of interactive geo-spatial information.

Google Earth Maps

Google’s enterprise version combines familiar Google mapping with added features designed especially for business users:

  • Google Maps API Premier
  • Google Earth Pro
  • Google Earth Enterprise

Bing supports a highly regarded 3-D mapping feature, requiring download and installation of the free Microsoft Silverlight application. There has been recent discussion of less support or other curtailment by Microsoft, but I am not certain, as I’ve read differing accounts depending on the source.

Note that Google also requires installation of an extra application on the user’s hard-drive to use Google Earth, as it is a 3-D mapping program.

December 17, 2010

Body Browser

The Google Body Browser is now accessible to the public.

Introducing the Body Browser from Google Labs

This is not like any other browser, based on the usual definition of the word. Specifically, it runs within the existing browser e.g. Chrome or Firefox. Modern features such as HTML5 must be supported by the user’s browser.

Body Browser

Logo

What does the Body Browser do?

The Body Browser is an interactive anatomical chart of the human body. Biological categories include musculature, skeletal, circulatory and nervous systems, as well as internal organs. Features include rotation and zoom. Complete labels in Latin are available as a toggle on-off option.

The Body Browser showcases the full glory of HTML5 and Google’s new image format, WebGL. For example, each of the biological categories can be enabled separately, producing a layered effect. A good analogy would be to Google Earth, in terms of realistic rendering of 3-D image complexity.

There may be other features about which I am unaware. I found the site via Twitter, this morning, Thursday December 16, 2010.

What of Zygote Media?

See the page footer credit:

Imagery Copyright 2010 Zygote Media Group Inc.

No hyper link or other information is available on the page for Zygote Media Group. Nor did I have any particular success searching for Zygote Media in any of the usual places. However, it seems that Zygote Media is Google Lab’s partner in this project.

UPDATE

I later found that ZYGOTE MEDIA GROUP INC. is either owned by or does business as 3D Science. More information may be found about Zygote Media from that source.

December 9, 2010

Source Meta Tags to Identify Original Publisher Content

In December 2009, the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog responded to publisher concerns about page rank penalties imposed by Google’s search algorithm due to legitimate cross-domain content duplication. Most websites would rarely (if ever) have valid reasons for displaying identical content on multiple and distinctly different domains.

Journalists of the past

Journalists in Radio-Canada newsroom, via Wikipedia

However, it is a common occurrence for news media sites with multiple syndication channels to legitimately publish duplicate cross-domain content.

Source Meta Tags

Google announced an extra feature for news publishers, to differentiate between the first version of a “breaking story” versus the re-distribution by others that follows. Such redistribution is legitimate, but publishers wanted to make sure that there was a way to give credit where credit was due to the most enterprising journalist for a given news story. Google responded with this suggestion:

News publishers and readers both benefit when journalists get proper credit for their work. That can be difficult, with news spreading so quickly and many websites syndicating articles to others. That’s why we’re experimenting with two new meta tags for Google News: syndication-source and original-source. Each of these meta tags addresses a different scenario, but for both the aim is to allow publishers to take credit for their work and give credit to other journalists.

original versus duplicate

Original versus Duplicate Website Content

Further details about Google’s introduction of “source” meta tags to help find original news was covered in the Google News Blog, and an even more in-depth description can be found in this excellent Search Engine Land article about meta tags including discussion of a recent algorithm patent granted to Google.

UPDATE

There is good reason for Google’s decision to implement these meta tags on a trial basis. Best practice, for both bloggers and publishers alike, requires attribution if using another source’s original work. Most reputable online content producers have credited their source with a link until now. However, there is some concern that they could stop doing that, and instead, merely use the meta tag. That would be a much worse outcome for the original writer, in terms of receiving much-deserved credit for their work.

The meta tags are useful to Google, as they give input to the page rank algorithm (which seeks to reward providers of original content). Yet I do believe that this is a good-faith effort by Google. It would be unfortunate if these new meta tags have the opposite effect from what Google intended.