Geography 2.0: Virtual Globes

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Skyline, Metacarta, and other news from Where 2.0

Skyline launched a full-fledged, internet-based virtual globe today at the Where 2.0 Conference. Skyline President Ronnie Yaron test drove the application for me, and it looks promising. The client is about 5MB and can be downloaded at As expected, it looks like Google Earth, with various tweaks to differentiate it. I'll post more about the details when I get a chance to play with it.

Most of the interesting stuff I saw in Skyline Globe is in the "Pro" version--which costs about $500. The Pro version includes analytical tools for area, horizontal/terrain length, line of sight, viewshed, and a what appears to be a 3-D buffer tool. Further, the software has its own clock, and allows dynamic data to be represented.

A few other items:

  • Telcontar has renamed itself deCarta.

  • ESRI tells me that they are not necessarily providing an exact launch date for ArcGIS Explorer; however, they did say that Jack Dangermond's presentation on Wednesday would have a surprise/interesting item or two.

  • Metacarta launched several new tools, including an API. See the latest at: So far at the conference, Metacarta has provided the only talk and announcement that will require me to deeply consider its meaning and impact.

  • The Google team discussed and clarified the new functionality of KML and their new Google Earth release.