blankblank blank

Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Online Tilt-Shift Photo Maker

There’s been a mini-craze online for creating tilt-shift photos, where the focus position and depth of field on a landscape/cityscape are manipulated to make the picture look like a miniature reproduction. For authentic tilt-shift photos, you need a special lens, but you can re-create the effect using Photoshop filters, or by following tutorials online. Now there’s an online website called TiltShiftmaker that lets you upload your own photos, and applies a tilt-shift effect to them:

Original photo from the island of Santorini (from Flickr):


Run through TiltShiftmaker:


The process works best on images that don’t have a few objects much taller than the rest of the scene, as that can result in the base of the object being at a different focus/blur than the top.

Via Lifehacker.

New Features At MapChannels.Com

MapChannels writes to announce a few new features:

Holiday Maps: Create an embeddable Google Maps window with the option for additional information layers:

  • Panoramio photos
  • Geo-tagged Wikipedia articles
  • Google Street View
  • Traffic Layer
  • Weather Information
  • User-defined KML or GeoRSS Layers
  • Index sidebar
  • Hotel search using the Map Channels Hotel Directory
  • Google search
  • Slide Show
  • Google Earth 3D (note: currently buggy, doesn’t work for me in Firefox 3)

MapChannels For Virtual Earth: Create an embeddable Virtual Earth window with KML or GeoRSS feeds (an analogue to Google Maps’ MyMaps feature, also supported by MapChannels in embeddable format).

StreetCities: New tools to combine Google’s Street View with a second view in the Google Earth plugin. This doesn’t work in Firefox 3, either.

Direction To A Geostationary Broadcast Satellite In Google Maps/Earth

Here’s a slick little online geographic tool called DishPointer. Enter your position (latitude/longitude), or your address, then select from a list of broadcast satellites in geosynchronous orbit. DishPointer will bring up a Google Maps display showing the proper orientation for your dish antenna for optimal reception from the selected satellite:

Capture3-26-2007-2.31.46 PM5-19-2008-8.55.35 PM

Check the box marked “Show obstacle”, and you can move the marker to show the maximum height an obstacle (like a tree or a neighbor’s house) can have without blocking your satellite dish’s line-of-sight view.

Click on the Google Earth icon, and have the line-of-sight to the satellite shown in 3 dimensions:

Capture3-26-2007-2.31.46 PM5-19-2008-8.58.21 PM

If your view of the satellite is blocked by terrain, that will be visible in Google Earth; if there are 3D buildings for your area, you’ll also be able to see whether your view is blocked by adjacent buildings as well.

Via OgleEarth.

Favorite Five Posts (After Six Months)

The last post had the 8 most popular posts on the blog over the past six months, but they aren’t necessarily the ones I liked the best. Here are five posts I think I did a good job on:

5. How to easily create good-looking map relief shading with 3DEM

4. Creating animated viewsheds with MicroDEM

3. Converting E00 vector data to shapefile format with free software

2. Determining the effect of GPS satellite signal blockage by terrain on GPS accuracy

And, number one with a bullet …

1. Re-creating the flooding of Manhattan from the movie “An Inconvenient Truth” in 3D in Google Earth.

Top Eight Posts (After Six Months)

Today, this blog turns 6 months old; thanks for stopping by! I’m still nowhere near running out of material, and I’m not burned out yet (though some days are kinda tough). Here’s a list of the 8 most popular posts/series on the blog over its history, based on number of visits:

8. Importing/Exporting GPS Data To/From GIS

7. Exporting Shapefiles To Google Earth

6. GPS Trackmaker

5. Free Toolsets For ArcGIS

4. Converting KML Files To Shapefiles

3. Re-projecting Shapefiles From One Coordinate System To Another

2. Convenient ways to handle data in Garmin GPS units with microSD cards

And, easily number one ….

1. How to get most of the functionality of Google Earth Plus for free (plus some features, like export of Google Earth data to GPS units, that GE+ can’t do)

(Why not a top ten? Because everyone else does top tens …)