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As you might or might not know, I am an incredible fan of the real-time visualization tools (especially Arc) of Digg, that really makes the web feel much more lively and current. Now there’s Flickrvision, a really nice visualization tool that shows current postings of photos on Flickr. It even has a 3D view. Personally, I prefer the ‘Classic View’ as they call it, because it serves its purpose: showing photos.
These are the images that people all over the world are currently investing some of their time in to share them with anyone who cares to look. I sometimes wonder what this tells about the world. How objective is the idea an alien gets about the earth, just by looking at many photos people voluntarily share with the world? First of all, I think we do not wish to share ugly things, or photos we consider to not be so aesthetically pleasing. We probably have the tendency to point our lenses at things of interest and or beauty and we will always try to find some sort of a composition, even if it is not more than aligning the object in the center of the image.
More than an honest look into the lives of people, through photography we are looking through their eyes. If the photography of lots and lots of different people are combined in a single place and you look at them flashing by, what are we really looking at?
A well designed, interesting, perhaps utopian (or dystopian, depending on whom you ask) look into the future of the internet and the world.
If you think Google Earth is really cool, you’re right: it is!
But imagine in Google Earth to push the globe aside for a moment and within a few seconds travel a few thousand lightyears away to check out a nice star constellation or galaxy over there. This is not possible in Google Earth, but a really nice application exists that can serve as quite a good surrogate to that old boys/girls dream to one day travel the galaxy in a quest very deep into the Unknown.
(‘the Pale Blue Dot’ by Carl Sagan)
This application goes by the really awfull name of ‘Celestia’ and it’s highly recommended to all those that have even the slightest interest in science fiction, space travel and astronomy. You just ‘zap’ through the galaxy, with millions of planets, stars, asteroids, moons and even spacecrafts to discover and explore. It is so awesome to just literaly hop from galaxy to galaxy, a geek’s wet dream.
Google Earth has just addded 170.000 3D buildings in the city of Amsterdam! Make sure to tick ‘3D buildings’ and below that ‘3D warehouse’ in your layers palette to make also the detailed buildings visible.