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It’s funny, my first reaction to the Trimble buys SketchUp news was that it was some kind of spoof, and I checked the link and site closely. It was surprising, because who knew that Google was selling anything, and while very strategic for both Trimble and Google, it’s hard to imagine how this went down. […]


Trimble Acquires SketchUp from Google

by Matt Ball on April 26, 2012

Trimble has announced today the agreement to acquire SketchUp from Google. This is very interesting news for the advancement of 3D modeling, with potential to tie more directly to data capture tools through the many handheld and scanning technologies that the company provides. Trimble will partner with Google on running and developing SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse. […]


Google’s Project Glass AR Specs Now in Testing

by Matt Ball on April 4, 2012

Google’s Project Glass augmented reality glasses are now in testing, with geolocation and wayfinding a key component. The glasses hit the streets today, with a cadre of Google employees testing the specs on the street. This Google+ thread asks for feedback, and provides contact from key developers. Here’s a video with a demo of how […]

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Google’s Open Source Field Data Collection Kit

by Matt Ball on March 26, 2012

Google is working with the University of Washington on an open source field data collection tool called the Open Data Kit that enables easy data collection. The system is based on Google’s Android system, with support in many languages. It supports GPS data collection, the integration of images from a phone camera sensor, the capture […]


Google Promotes Terrapixels for Everyone

by Matt Ball on March 21, 2012

David Thau, senior developer advocate for Google Earth Engine, gave the keynote speech at this morning’s ASPRS Annual Meeting. The talk began with a discussion of Stewart Brand’s campaign to see a picture of the whole earth from space, which has been said to have kicked off earth day, the ecology movement, global politics, and […]


Google Street View Hits the Slopes

by Matt Ball on March 9, 2012

Google has adapted their Street View camera, mounted it to a snowmobile, and have captured most of the ski resorts in Lake Tahoe, among others. The new ski resort mapping is visible in Google Maps by dragging the Street View man, that is now appropriately helmeted with skis attached. Included in the Lake Tahoe ski […]


Google Purchases Clever Sense

by Matt Ball on December 13, 2011

The local information site Clever Sense was just acquired by Google. The site uses Internet crawling technology to process and mine data in order to connect the online world with the offline world. Clever Sense developed technology to combine this data with data that they mine from social interactions, such as check-ins, likes and ratings, […]


Google to Deploy Robots for Mapping?

by Matt Ball on November 14, 2011

In today’s New York Times there’s a story about the Google X secret lab that is working on 100 far-forward ideas. Within the text of the article is a discussion of robotic data collection, and the possibility that Google might deploy robots to photograph streets for Google Maps. While the article is certainly speculative about […]


The Southern Methodists University Geothermal Laboratory has completed a detailed map of the geothermal resources in the United states with a grant from The detailed research and resulting map indicate that there are ample stores of green power to be generated by the Earth’s heat via currently accessible technology. The research is aimed at […]

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Prosecutors in South Korea have been after Google for privacy infringements from Street View mapping. A police probe found that in addition to collecting 360-degree images, the camera-equipped vehicles also collected serial numbers on mobile devices, mobile messages, e-mails, passwords, and even credit card details. After getting nowhere by interrogating local Google officials, the prosecutors […]