I've been inspired by some of the hacks in my last article (as well as the ease of programming Google Earth) to make a layer, or as close to one as I can come, with the Perth, Australia public transport system in it. So far I've done most of the train stations, their connections and some 11 bus routes. Maybe a community mapping project (map the areas you know or use) would be a way to get useful map data into Google Earth, much like the very successful www.tvguide.org.au does for television schedules. Comments anyone? I'll post a link to my Earth file later on. Watch this space.
Tuesday, 13 December 2005
By now you're probably all aware of the Google Earth beta for Mac OS X that has been leaked. This is the best news ever! I've been playing with it for the last couple of days, clearly there's a lot of work to go, but the good news is that it works well now.
A couple of tips, the Help, Email and Plus features aren't there, and fullscreen doesn't work for me. However, anything you can't do directly you can write in KML using XCode. To get the format, follow the APIs link on code.google.com
There's heaps out there that you can add to the maps - I can recommend searching the lists on www.googleearthhacks.com
The satellite imagery and terrain models are really good, even in Australia, though we don't get roads (UBD, please sell, Google, please buy!) So all of the search features are superfluous. Worth the download, though be careful and test it on a non-critical Mac first.
Tuesday, 6 December 2005
This is how I now watch TV on my Mac: Apple DVD Player. This application has the unfair advantage in MPEG2 decoding. However the combination of Tiger allowing reading of VIDEO_TS folders and Myth's improved MPEG2 transcode means DVD Player and hence acceleration is possible. The job queue allows me to have the DVD folders prepared within minutes and my laptop now makes an okay frontend. Comment if you want to know more and I'll post some files.
3 have added Yahoo! Messenger to it's growing list of services. This one looks good. It is delivered as a Java application which on my phone means I should be able to stay online permanently. $5 per month for this one.
Also recently added is TransportInfo for bus and train timetables. It's not perfect and the interface is a little inefficient, but it's the most useful $2 per month service on Planet 3.