Geography 2.0: Virtual Globes

AAG2007 Virtual Globes Logo

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Off to Where 2.0

I'm packing clothes and on my way to San Jose and Where 2.0. In terms of virtual globes, the traditional big players will be in attendance: Google, NASA, ESRI, and Skyline. Some Second Life guy(s) are giving a virtual-globesque talk; it'll be interesting to hear their spin.

Lately I have been concentrating on my own virtual globes research, so I haven't thought enough about what to expect from the San Jose shenannigans. Regardless, here are a few off-the-cuff possibilities:

  • Google will talk about their time browser. My expectations are high that they will pull a rabbit out of their hat and really wow me.

  • Since ESRI/Jack Dangermond said ArcGIS Explorer will launch a public beta in June (and the month has less than 20 days left), they should either launch or provide an exact date.

  • I do not expect any surprises from NASA, but hope to hear more about their vision of moving World Wind toward a scientific analysis tool.

  • Microsoft will display or announce some thoughtful, interesting tool -- with a somewhat logical business model.

I'll actually have to think of real expectations and questions on the drive up there. Right now, with ten hours before things get started at the Googleplex, the immediate question is whether I will wake up early enough to drive from Santa Barbara to Mountain View before noon. ~A