Google Street View Trike on Springwater Corridor

On Friday I was riding back to school on the Springwater Corridor and rode past the Google Street View Tricycle. The Springwater Corridor is a bike and pedestrian trail in Southeast Portland that is part of the partially completed 40 Mile Loop. The Street View Tricycle is used by Google to capture images for Google Street View in areas where cars are not allowed. Wonder how long before the images of the Corridor are up?


Photo by Renê Fraga

Playing around with the Google Maps iPhone Update

I spent some time this morning playing around with the new features in Google Maps on the iPhone. I am more and more impressed with this tool. With this update they have added transit and walking directions in addition to driving directions. Now when you are plotting a route you can see separate results for all three modes of transportation. As you switch from view to view the map is redrawn to reflect the best route based on your mode of transportation.

When the transit directions are displayed, bus stops appear and are clickable. When touched, the marker will display the arriving time for the next bus or train. (In Portland this is live data based on an estimate of the buses location using GPS, and not just based on a timetable, am sure it is the same for most of the transit systems that Google has partnered with...)

Below are some screen grabs for a route from my home to school.

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In addition, Street View is now available...


Sharing Forms/Spreadsheets in Google Docs

Stop sharing spreadsheets, start collecting information:
The Google Docs Blog posts today about a new feature in Google Docs Spreadsheets called forms. It basically allows you to share a Google Docs Spreadsheet as a form with others and the data they enter in that form is automatically added to a Google Docs Spreadsheet. So rather than sharing a spreadsheet with others, you can send them a form to fill out and the data they enter is automatically entered into a Google Docs Spreadsheet. Lots of possibilities here... I tested it on my iPhone and the form works nicely. Think I'm going to redo my Learning Walk form tomorrow...

Google Docs New features for 2008!

Official Google Docs Blog: New features for 2008!:

Google has added some new features to its Google Docs applications. These include the ability to create sub folders and the ability to rename documents within the Docs home toolbar view. The one that is of most interest to me is the ability to embed Google Docs Presentations into a web page. This is similar to what is available on sites such as SlideShare. The key benefit being that you can now do this from within your Google Docs workflow. This feature is available when you publish a Google Docs Presentation. Some code is generated that you can then past into a web page or weblog post.

I am wondering if Apple will update their iLife applications to take advantage of this. They already have an export to YouTube option within Keynote. It would be nice if they added the ability to directly upload and publish a Keynote presentation in this way.

Below is a screen shot...

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Google SketchUp For Dummies

Google SketchUp For Dummies, by Aidan Chopra, is out and available for purchase. Chapter one is available as a free download, and in addition the author has posted on YouTube, video tutorials that accompany the book. Also interesting is that he has posted a listing of corrections. Basically things that are incorrect in the printed book with links to the corrected information. Related posts: Building a Community with Sketchup and Google Earth...

Display your KML on a Google Map

Chris O'Sullivan has created a Rails application (Display KML on a Map) that let's you quickly test KML code directly in Google Maps. While Google Maps will display KML files, the KML file first has to be saved someplace. This method allows you to copy and paste the KML code into a text field and then display the KML information within Google Maps. You then need to zoom the map in manually to display the KML information. This is nice for testing and saves time since you don't have to first upload the KML file in order to see how it looks in Google Maps... By way of OgleEarth