Intel takes moviemaking social with The Inside Experience

A young woman held against her will, a mysterious Chinese takeout receipt, a laptop that offers access to YouTube and Facebook but not Google Earth: Those are some of the puzzle pieces of a new interactive movie called The Inside Experience, unveiled by Intel Monday.

Google Earth Lets You Travel the 3-D World on Tablets

Google today launched a tablet-optimized version of its Google Earth software for Honeycomb devices which truly showcases how solid Android software can run on a tablet. A 3-D graphics layer with textural buildings and contextual pop-ups make the application useful, informative and downright fun.

Today in Cloud

Google launched Earth Builder last week. On the surface, this is an attempt to bring existing Google tools such as Google Maps and Google Earth into the enterprise, and seize a piece of the valuable Geographic Information Systems (GIS) market from incumbents such asĀ ESRI. It’s more than that, though, and Om explores some of the implications. Remember what Google did with the sloppy mess of our millions and millions of unstructured web pages? Just imagine what the company will begin to do when handed access to highly targeted, highly structured, highly specific data such as the stuff with which most decent GIS installations are crammed? This could get interesting, and is potentially a very long way from yesterday’s GIS.

Touchscreen Devices and Gloves Don’t Mix — or Do They?

Winter has definitely arrived here in the UK, with temperatures dropping over the past week or so, prompting me to break out my winter coat and gloves. I actually quite enjoy the changing seasons, but gloves are awkward because they don’t work with devices with capacitive touchscreens (like my iPhone, and also the trackpad on my MacBook), and constantly removing and replacing gloves when fiddling with my phone quickly becomes annoying. Fortunately, I’ve found there are quite are a few workarounds that let you keep warm mitts and stay connected on the go. Read More about Touchscreen Devices and Gloves Don’t Mix — or Do They?

Must-have iPhone and iPod Touch Apps For Newbies

It’s WebWorkerDaily’s fault that I’ve bought an iPod touch (s aapl). (That’s my excuse, anyway.) As I looked at potential subjects to write about, I kept seeing cool apps, and I need to be able to test them, right?

But why not buy an iPhone, or a Palm Pre, which I’d had my eye on for several months? The Pre seems to be a good phone, but it doesn’t yet have the apps that the iPhone does. And the monthly fees for Pre service are considerably higher than what I’m paying now. The iPhone’s monthly fees are even higher, and many folks I’ve talked to don’t find it to be a very good phone.

So, keeping my current phone and buying an iPod touch seemed like a good compromise. I can get good Wi-Fi coverage in most areas where I live, so I’ll be able to go online, even without the phone function.

Many of my WWD colleagues already have iPhones. Aliza has recently written about good apps for web workers. Dawn’s shared her favorites, too. But with the holidays coming up, here are some of my ideas for apps to put on that brand-new iPhone or iPod touch: Read More about Must-have iPhone and iPod Touch Apps For Newbies

Clean Power Maps: Solar Jobs Light Up Google Earth

Solar companies might be shedding jobs at an uncomfortable rate right now, but the U.S. solar industry is expected to provide a good 440,000 permanent jobs by the year 2016, according to researchers at Navigant Consulting. While those job figures are substantial, when it comes to sun, all states are not created equal. That’s why Google.org and the Solar Energy Research Education Foundation (SEREF) decided to take the Navigant study and feed it into Google Earth, to show off a state-by-state comparison.

googleearthsolarjobs

To check it out you need to download Google Earth and then go into the Google Earth Outreach layer (the above is just a screen shot). First thing we noticed: California will deliver almost half of the solar jobs in the U.S. by 2016. (Thank you, state Renewable Portfolio Standard and Solar Roofs Program!) Beyond Cali, sun-soaked states like Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico make up the bulk of the remaining solar jobs. The rest of the states like Alaska, Kentucky, and North Carolina? . . . yeah, not so much. If you’re looking for a leg-up in the solar biz, head west.

The Eye in the Sky on Carbon Dioxide

Update: The eye in the sky didn’t quite make it to its lofty perch — after it’s launch this morning the satellite failed to reach orbit.

It’s a bird … it’s a plane … it’s a carbon-spotting satellite from NASA! The U.S. space agency’s first satellite to study atmospheric carbon dioxide is set to launch tomorrow morning, a potential boon for environmental watchdogs, as well as cleantech firms looking to pitch their pollution-cutting wares or sell carbon credits to the biggest emitters of CO2 on the planet.

nasa_satellite

But if you just can’t wait till the satellite starts beaming its info from space, you can already check out the current data on CO2 across the U.S. through a newly-released map for Google Earth. Researchers at Purdue University put up the map last week, which can show pollution from factories, power plants, roadways, and residential and commercial buildings by state, county or population. The Purdue team is aiming to eventually have emissions data at the street level, and they plan to expand the project, called Project Vulcan, to other countries, starting with Canada and Mexico.
Read More about The Eye in the Sky on Carbon Dioxide

Here Comes Santa Claus — On An iPhone Tracker!

santa_tracker_iphoneWay back during the Cold War, the North American Aerospace Defense Command began a cute Christmas tradition meant to reassure anxious kids that it was not planning to shoot Santa Claus out of the sky. NORAD’s annual Santa Tracker has since gone Web 2.0, in an ongoing partnership with Google that imports Saint Nick’s trajectory data onto Google Maps and Google Earth. Now, iPhone owners have a free app of their own, the Santa Tracker for iPhone, so they can keep tabs on the jolly fat man from the palm of their hand.

It’s an application running on Earthscape, a very cool “mirror world” technology that displays a 3-D, navigable globe, taken from satellite imagery and geotagged photos from users. (Featured on GigaOM last September.) With the Santa app, you can follow the airborne sled’s route across the world, and even better, zoom in to see photos that have been uploaded by Earthscape users at his various stops.

It was inspired, CEO Tom Churchill explained to me in an e-mail, by “the observation that we had users all over the world taking beautiful photos of their holiday festivities, and that this would be of interest to a wider audience — children, for example — if packaged the right way.” (As it happens, this demo video features Churchill’s 6-year-old daughter at the controls.) So, it’s also a clever way of showing kids how the rest of the world enjoys the holidays….or, at the very least, it’s something to keep them occupied while you wrap their presents.