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New Google Earth developments of interest to chasers

Mentioned previously (March 2006) so consider this an update/expansion of the subject:
Anybody taken a look at Google Earth lately? Version 4 was released in early Jan. and here are a couple of things that might be of interest to chasers (or armchair chasers, when you aren't able to get the day off).

First of all, NOAA now has RIDGE imagery available, downloadable in .kmz file formats (open in Google Earth). Download the files, open in Google Earth and watch the radar image overlay the real terrain (with towns, as you zoom in). I haven't played with all of the various files available there, but the instructions say that
If your application supports the <refresh> tag, then:
  • the radar images will auto-update every 2 minutes
  • warning polygons have a 1 minute refresh
Obviously, for this to work from the road, you would need internet connectivity (such as through your cellphone).

Somewhat related to the above, this site has a couple of kmz files that you can download that are "dynamic feeds", one for METAR data and the other a "Weather Super Link". You might download those and take a look at them in Google Earth.

Switching subjects a bit, Skip Talbot recently provided some instructions for creating chase logs with Google Maps. How about doing the same thing with Google Earth (no API required)? This last link is an amazing little "hack". First, it ties your GPS with Google Earth. Secondly, it DOES NOT require being connected to the internet, explaining how you can download the Google Earth data AHEAD of time (and cache it) so that it works even when you are not connected to the internet. The author of the last link just "flies" over the area ahead of time (with his cache size set to a large 2 G. If you don't want to manually "fly" over the area, this post describes using a program called Google Earth Voyager to step over a defined area automatically (loading it into the cache for offline use with REAL TIME GPS data).

The coolness/geek factor for this stuff is off the charts.

Can grlevel2 and grlevel3 data over Google Earth be far behind? :)
 
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