Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mashups and Flash Earth: Awesome

Mashups and Flash Earth: Awesome

I was making a mashup for my Spanish class about the Galapagos Islands integrating power point, United Streaming video segments, Google Earth, podcasts, sounds, and images when to my surprise, I found FLASH EARTH. Flash Earth is an experiential application that uses satellite and aerial imagery without official consent. Gee, I hope I don’t get Paul Neave in trouble by blogging about it. Oh well, I’m not exactly the guru of the blog world and I found it on the Net, so I think he’s safe for the time being. At least, I hope he is…

Flash earth in my opinion utilizes some features that Google Earth could definitely utilize. I hate getting to an area on Google Earth only to find low-resolution pictures. More specifically, today I was able to use Flash Earth to look at my school, which I can’t do with Google Earth due to the low-res images of the area. Needless to say, I was very impressed with Flash Earth. In the language of my students, “It rocks”.

Paul Neave is responsible for Flash Earth and states, “Flash Earth has not been formally endorsed by any of the imagery providers (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! etc.) as it conflicts with their Terms of Use which states that the imagery should only by accessed via their official API, and not by any other means (which Flash Earth has done). [Moreover,] Flash Earth uses unofficial techniques to access imagery from mapping websites, I do no want to encourage other people to do this, and so the source code is no longer available.”

I don’t know that much about API’s, but I know a genius when I encounter one and Neave seems to be at least a Flash genius. His Flash introductory to his site is out of this world and worth a look. Neave makes me want to start working even more with flash.

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, or someone needs to work out a deal with Paul Neave ASAP. Flash Earth is an ingenious creation! Thanks for sharing Flash Earth with us…

P.S. If you don’t know what a mashup is David Warlick explains it well, “A mashup is a web site that takes data from one or more other web sites, and then does something with the data to add value.” So maybe, what I was doing with my power point wasn’t really a mashup after all. Maybe, I should call the presentation a mashdown because I am using Google Earth, Flash Earth, web maps, and United Streaming video segments that were downloaded to create a unique interactive experience for my students in the true spirit of Web 2.0…Yes, I think we should call the combination of downloaded combined elements utilized to provide an interactive presentation, a “mashdown”. Any suggestions?

Anyway, David’s latest post discusses a new cool mashup about policital campaign contributions. It is called, Following the Dollars: Map Political Campaign Contributions in Your Area…If I taught History, Government, or something related, I think I could really use this in my class lessons. Hint, hint! Nudge, nudge! It will be fun!

I hate to run, but I have to give tests tomorrow and premiere my new “mashdown” for my classes. Until later!

W. Bishop

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