New cool geo projects

FreeEarth viewerI'm busy ramping up a number of projects for Where2.0, but in the meantime there have been some incredibly cool new projects that have shown up on my radar just this morning and wanted to point so others could play with them.

First is Poly9's FreeEarth. It is a 3D globe viewer that embeds in your browser and is surprisingly fast and easy to use. They also say they'll be releasing a Javascript API for it. Who needs GoogleEarth in the browser now? You can do your KML, GeoRSS, or other visualization right in the browser. And definitely check out the mixed 2D/3D view that lets you slide a map to control the globe.

Another neat project that was actually released in April, but I just saw today, is ShapeWiki. It was made by Andre Lewis, who co-wrote the Google Maps Applications with Rails... book (review coming shortly). It's a very nice little application for drawing shape outlines and retrieving the information in generic XML, JSON, or GoogleMaps Javascript.

However, ShapeWiki doesn't support GeoRSS output (or any RSS) of new Shapes - so everyone drop Andre a lineand let him know this would be a useful feature!

Both projects illustrate how Geo-tools are becoming both easy to use and powerful. I can't wait to see more of this stuff at Where2.0 (or Where2.2?) and WhereCamp!

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About the Author

Andrew Turner is an advocate of open standards and open data. He is actively involved in many organizations developing and supporting open standards, including OpenStreetMap, Open Geospatial Consortium, Open Web Foundation, OSGeo, and the World Wide Web Consortium. He co-founded CrisisCommons, a community of volunteers that, in coordination with government agencies and disaster response groups, build technology tools to help people in need during and after a crisis such as an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, flood, or wildfire.