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Monday, September 19, 2005

From Lynchburg, to Richmond, to the World

Two readers have brought me to Google earth. I have been using NASA World Wind, now I use both. Each have their advantages and disadvantages, but both complement each other. You really need broad band to have the best advantage in their use, but between the two of them, you will be able to come in close and personal with almost any part of the world.

The applications for these programs are endless. Richmond police has found a use of Google earh that nails down the crime areas. Besides, having a useful working data base for crime occurrences, Richmond took this to the next level and plotted out areas that crimes are occurring on the Google Richmond map. And they can see almost in real time where crime is happening, the type of crime, and the can judge what response is needed.

You really have to appreciate the model that the Richmond Police developed. The importance of this became evident, when a reader asked how I know the crime in Midtown is growing? Well as far as I know the Lynchburg Police, just does that kind of tool or data base. There are data bases, but they do not define, by neighborhood, or by frequency, and the information is dated. This leaves Lynchburg with a seat of the pants approach, for stemming crime. And for me I was left in the dark with anecdotal evidence in showing the increase in crime in midtown Lynchburg.

Yes, we all know there is an increase of crime there, but can we map it out, see the frequency, and understand how we should respond. Lynchburg could and should, adapt the Richmond model. Thank you Ken,

Katrinia showed us another use of Google maps. What you saw on the news, was adapted from their format. To read more on this go to an interesting post by Aaron about how Google world users could see by comparison what Katrinia did in the gulf.

The applications for these programs are only limited by the imagination. Recently, a site of a Roman villa, was uncovered by a user of Google world. This villa would may have been left undiscovered for years without the sharp observations of a Google world user.

A point I am compelled to make, is that Nasa World does provide better aerial views of Lynchburg than Google. And, there are users that are constantly developing useful functions for both of these applications.

So what is next, how about the universe, here is a program that will take us beyond, our little bit of dust.


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