Posts Tagged ‘macworld’

Using Wii Balance Board to Fly Through Google Earth (Google)

Friday, January 16th, 2009

[Editor's note: And here I thought the Wii was just for bowling, lol.]

Republished from Google Lat Long blog.
Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 1:56 PM

This year for Macworld I decided to create a program that allows people to “surf” any region on the Earth’s surface using a Nintendo Wii Balance Board and the Google Earth API.  To do this, I used the Google Earth Browser Plug-in with a Javascript API.  The Wii Balance Board transmits the your movements to the Earth Surfer application using Bluetooth and allows you to maneuver a virtual milk truck by shifting your balance as if you were on a surfboard.

Check out the following video to see it in action:

While it’s fun to use Earth Surfer, I really wrote it to inspire others to write their own programs. It’s all open source using the Apache License, so you can use the code in your own programs, even commercial ones.

It is based on Thatcher Ulrich’s terrific Javascript Monster Milktruck demo, which is an open source program on a webpage. I wrapped it as a Macintosh application program so I could add Objective-C.  Objective-C uses the Macintosh Bluetooth support to decode the Bluetooth packets from the Wii Balance Board. The Balance Board support is my work. I based that on DarwiinRemote, open source decoders for the Wii Remote.
Earth Surfer and its source code will be available next week on the Google Mac Developer Playground.

Another amusing hack for surfing in Google Earth.

iPhoto 2009 and Picasa for Mac (Apple and Google)

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

[Editor's note: Both Apple and Google have released new photo management software this week coinciding with MacWorld in San Francisco. Google unveiled a Mac version of their popular Picasa software but their beta lacks maps and geotagging support found in the current Windows version. Apple, meanwhile, released the 2009 version of iPhoto with extensive support for managing geotagged images from cameras like the iPhone. Geotags are imported and can be edited for photos and seen on a map. Photos can be searched by location (lat longs are turned into human readable placenames such as "Paris, France"). And nifty looking map itineraries can be created in photo books.]

Republished from Apple.

Places

iPhoto helps you explore your travel photos with a new feature called Places. This feature uses data from GPS-enabled cameras or the camera on iPhone to categorize photos by location and convert GPS location tags to common, user-friendly names. So without any effort, pictures you took of the Eiffel Tower are labeled with easily searchable names like “France,” “Paris,” and “Eiffel Tower.”

If you don’t have a GPS-enabled camera or iPhone, you can still make the most of Places. Add locations to your photos by typing the name of a place, entering an address, or dropping a pin on a map. Then, when you want to find photos you shot in New York City or the Grand Canyon, just type the place name in the search field. If you feel like exploring, use the Places column browser to navigate your photos by clicking a country, state, city, or point of interest.

Travel Maps

If you’re an iPhoto fan, you already know how fun and easy it is to create professionally printed photo books to show off your vacation pictures. iPhoto ’09 makes your travel books even more special with custom maps that illustrate your journey. iPhoto uses the location data from your photos to generate a beautifully rendered map showing the countries and cities you visited. Or you can type in the names of places you’ve visited to create a travel map in any photo book theme. Every map is fully customizable. Show a point-to-point path of your travels, change the order of the cities, and mark points of interest. Learn more about iPhoto print products