Geography 2.0: Virtual Globes

AAG2007 Virtual Globes Logo

Monday, October 31, 2005

more about ESRI ArcGIS Explorer

David Maguire has posted some information about ArcGIS Explorer. Visit his blog:

Snow Crash

I saw that Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash (1992) was on Time Magazine's list of best English-language novels written since 1923. Time's list and description can be accessed here. I read the entire book simply due to its early imaginings of a virtual globe. Here's the book's initial description of the software:

...a perfectly detailed rendition of Planet Earth, hanging in space at arm's length in front of his eyes...It is a piece of CIC software called, simply, Earth. It is the user interface that CIC uses to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns - all the maps, weather data, architectural plans, and satellite surveillance stuff.

More virtual globes enumeration

Norman Vine of osgPlanet sent me an email that included several (new to me) globes. I'll integrate them into our main list soon.

1) osgPlanet linked from ( 2004 )
Norman Vine, Mark Lucas

2) Fledermaus (??)
Larry Mayer

3) FlightGear ( ~1995 )
Curt Olsen, Norman Vine

Primarily vector based but worthy of inclusion
4) Hipparchus ( ~1990 )
Hrvoje Lukatella

AAG2006 Session Participants

So far, we have a great group of participants. This is a tentative list. I'll place the final list online once things have been formalized with AAG.

Speakers (Session 1):
Dr. David Cowen (U. South Carolina) re: Google Earth Data Integration
Mark Graham and Dr. Matthew Zook (U. Kentucky) re: Digiplace
Dr. David Maguire (ESRI) re: Geographic Earth Explorers: A new software paradigm for visualizing and analyzing geography?
Tim McGrath (Microsoft) re: Microsoft MapPoint technology
Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou (SDSU) - discussant

Speakers (Session 2)*
Norman Vine (osgPlanet)
Alan Glennon (UCSB Geography)
Josh Bader (UCSB Geography)
*may be combined with Session 1

Several graduate students have expressed interest in participating. For those students looking for topics, I might suggest: a history of virtual globes, national security and privacy issues, crimes from space, and applications in topics like spherical geometry computation, education, decision making, time and dynamics.

Please let me know if you are interested in participating.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

ESRI's virtual globe

ESRI put up a preview information page on their virtual globe. Visit: