While computer monitors and TV screens continue to become the size of small stars, there's no beating the real thing short of visiting a planetarium, or lately--Google Earth. Yesterday Google unveiled the second iteration of Google Sky for Google Earth at the Astronomical Society's annual conference in Austin, Texas. Among the more notable additions is podcasting that's been integrated into the Earth and Sky layer. These short 90-second podcasts will tell you anything that's coming up this week (or that's historically taken place), and you can listen to them right from the app via … Read more
Two of the most useful online services have got to be maps and weather.
With this in mind, The Weather Channel Interactive is offering a new mapplet for Google Maps that lets people add customizable weather layers to maps and see weather data on Google Earth (download it for Windows or Mac OS X).
One click and you can see the clouds over San Francisco on Google Maps. Pop-up bubbles provide more detailed information like current conditions including temperature, humidity, wind speed and UV Index. You can also find links to forecasts and track storms.
The weather information combines data … Read more
Google and Microsoft haven't quite cornered the market on mobile search and directions apps, at least not yet. Infospace Find It!, built with the BlackBerry in mind, gives users multiple entry points to search businesses, people, and directions while squeezing in features not yet stocked by competitors.
To satisfy variant search methods, Find It! sorts searches by name, by category, and by maps and directions. When choosing to search by name, you can look up a business or person in or near a location. This wasn't always successful during my tests, nor was the reverse phone number lookup, a feature unique to Find It! among its better-known and more prosperous rivals. However, when Find It! did strike gold, it didn't skimp in doling it out. Upon locating an individual or business, users can click-to-call, view a map, get directions, save the entry to the address book, and see what else is nearby.
I should mention that both Microsoft's Windows Live Search for Windows Mobile and Google Maps for Mobile had their fair share of data holes--one didn't even register CNET after a search, the brute--so Find It!'s defaults are common to still-youthful mobile search.… Read more
Yahoo's mapping service has been tweaked today to include a rerouting feature similar to the one Google's had since June. The new addition lets you pick up and drag your directions at any point to get the service to reroute according to the guidelines you give it. Once you've made changes, the service will pop up with a small comparison to show you how many miles have been added (or taken away) and how the change affects the time on your original commute recommendation.
Rerouting is a handy feature, and if you've given Google's implementation … Read more
Microsoft said Wednesday that has scooped up Multimap, a United Kingdom-based mapping service.
The software maker didn't say how much it was paying for the online mapping company, but said the unit should help in the company's broader Virtual Earth and search efforts.
"Partnering with Microsoft gives us a world of new opportunities to build our mapping services into new technologies and applications," Multimap CEO Jeff Kelisky said in a statement. "As one of the world's foremost technology brands, Microsoft is in a position to bring even more value to the Multimap service and … Read more
Typing your starting point on a typical cell phone search tool can get tedious, even if you've got a high-end device with a QWERTY keyboard. A GPS-enabled cell phone can wipe those tears away, but since about 85 percent of handsets do not have GPS, most users are out of luck.
Google Maps for Mobile with My Location draws enough information from local cell phone towers to figure out where you are and then uses that information to launch a search. The idea is it saves you search time and manual effort. How well does it work? Get a … Read more
When old rockers go digital, they go all the way. Led Zeppelin was one of the longtime holdouts from iTunes and other digital music stores, but in 2007 they relented and released a greatest-hits collection, Mothership, simultaneously online and on CD. (A good business move: the physical album charted charted at #7, but the digital album came in at #2.) Since the album's Nov. 13 release, the band has also launched a new Web site, the coolest feature of which is a timeline with the setlist of every single Zeppelin concert. This Seattle show looks particularly astounding, with about … Read more
Google is set on Wednesday to launch a new feature in its Google Maps for Mobile program that automatically sets your location even in phones that lack a global positioning system (GPS) device.
Until now, if you were in a cafe and you wanted to search for a nearby photocopy shop, you had to type in an address to set your location before Google Maps for Mobile could provide local listings.
The beta feature triangulates your approximate location based on nearby cell towers so you don't have to type in your address. Given that less than 15 percent of … Read more
Google Maps has added a new view layer to its repertoire today. It's called terrain view, and as the name suggests, it lets you get a detailed look at natural geographical features, as well as man made ones, like buildings and landmarks. Unlike Google Earth, you can't zoom around and change eye level to see how high something is, but Google has provided some degree of rendering on the surface of the earth to give it a 3D look and feel.