Friday, November 19, 2004

Keyhole - a view to the world

Tried out the Keyhole 2 LT. It is an application which combines satellite imagery, mapping, address/GIS information and renders the result to 3D. User is able to literally zoom around the Earth, while the application loads and processes the satellite images related to current 3d view in the background. If the accurate information is available on your area, you can zoom to the level where you can clearly see your house!

The graphics rendering is very impressive delivering WOW effect. If a comprehensive international map and image information would be offered this could be the killer mapping application. Now the accurate imagery is offerd only in the urban areas of north America and only some selected locations in Europe.

Most of what the app delivers is just an eye candy if the user is just after a map information. If you are just after map of certain area go for MultiMap or similar, free and fast. However, if you want to combine the map inforamtion with other images, e.g. statistical data, weather maps/radars, POI:s, etc. there might be some real value here. The real target for the company is clearly the enterprise usage: newspapers, TV and internet publishers can use the 2D/3D images or animations in their news stories. (The enterprise version of the product has much richer feature set, and much bigger price tag..)

For me this is a good technology demonstrator where the mapping and GIS systems might be heading. Make this information available to the mobile devices, combine it with GPS or other location information.. It could really help you finding youself around if you can see the accurate satellite map overlay of the area around you combined with the direction information.

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