Greetings from the first annual Virtual Globes Scientific Users Conference in Boulder, CO. If you thought Google Earth was the only player in the game, guess again. On the conference’s first day (Monday) Tim Foresman went through a history of Virtual Globes and introduced us to the International Society for Digital Earth. Following this we were introduced to the wide variety of virtual globes tools. Included were:
- Google Earth was introcuced by John E. Bailey of the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center,
- NASA’s World Wind presented by G.H. Chinoy, and
- Chuck Stein introduced GeoFusion
Two big name players with upcoming virtual globe software are ESRI (ArcGIS Explorer coming by the end of July? – Bart Killpack presented) and Microsoft (introduced by Rob Fatland of Microsoft – formerly Vexcel). ESRI will clearly differentiate their tools by their ability to interface with and process GIS data. What exact form MS’s VG will take or when it will be released was off limits for discussion, but it seems fairly clear they are genuinely in the globe game (not just flat maps) so stay tuned. These players will merit close scrutiny when they do release. Finally, conference organizer Matt Nolan presented EarthSLOT, based on tools created by Skyline Software.
Today’s presentations were user-oriented (full agenda here). I presented on “Integrating QTVR panoramas into Google Earth” which was a mix of material from my GSA talk last fall and a new Virtual Field Trip to Dinosaur National Monument that I recently put together.
P.S. Howdy Alan!