Google launches campaign in search of more data, orthophotos, digital models of land, 3D models of buildings ... this could change the conception that Google Earth data they are not useful for serious jobs.
The fact that Google is behind this data is due not only to the competition against Virtual Eath, but that the data can give greater precision to existing information and greater coverage ... we assume, and since we are assuming;
What is Google Earth looking for and for what purposes?
1. Digital Terrain Models (DTM or MDT)
Whatever we call it, we know that the possibility that digital terrain models with local accuracies could bring the utility of Google Earth to very interesting purposes, among them the possibility of improvement in the absolute accuracy of orthophotos or satellite images if it can be linked with the few control points that current Google models can have.
For this, Google asks that you fill out a form where you specify what type of images with the capacity to store terrain data you have. Mention some popularly used formats, including: Gtiff, tif, aig (ArcInfo Binary Grid), asc (ArcInfo ASCII Grid), img (Erdas Imagine Images), ddf (SDTS Raster), dem (USGS ASCII Dem)
It also requests the pixel size, projection and Datum.
2. Satellite images and Orthophotos
MMM, this gets more interesting, because Google wants to complete its coverage with images not only of sub-meter resolution but of greater absolute precision. For this, it asks for the same pixel size, coloration, projection and Datum, as well as the image format among which it mentions: GeoTIFF, JPEG2000, TIFF with worldfile (tfw), MrSID, strangely it does not mention ecw.
3. 3D building data
These can be in the formats .shp, .csv or .kmz in case of restitution of roofs with elevation. In the case of being 3D building models, the formats go up to .dae (collada), .3ds, and .max and make the separation in case they are with or without textures.
The bad thing about Google is that nothing wants to pay, although it gives us many of its free services, in this case asks:
Do you have orthophotos that you want to share? tell us what you have and we tell you when you can upload them ... while we make money with them and we return a few cents in AdSense clicks !!!
Although it mentions some of the advantages that there will be if people share their data, it seems that everything is behind positioning Sketchup! and that the 350 millions of Google Earth users end up in a love / hate relationship ... at least the video looks cool.