Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Google Earth Adds New Layers

Google earth, according to OogleEarth has just added some new layers, one in particular of which highlights what is going on in Dharfur, and ties it to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which tracks deaths, attacks, and refugees in the Dharfur region.
Many thanks to my source at GoogleEarth and greetings, Earthling! (I love saying that!)

Mediawatch: Covering the new Darfur default layer in Google Earth
Wednesday, April 11, 2007 (10:38 UTC)
Hundreds of media organizations carried news about the new Darfur layers in Google Earth — and that’s just in English. In Sweden alone, over 40 papers ran the news (an example). In the US, many local news organizations and papers ran the AP or Reuters story. Here’s a rundown of links to some of the larger and/or more interesting ones, with some observations at the end:

Using their own correspondents: The Los Angeles Times (business), BBC (front page feature), CNET (front page, and as a top headline for media 2.0), CNN (technology), Washington Times (business), PC World, ABC News (world news) and a good article/blog in Wired.

Reuters: Australia’s The Age (under technology), New Zealand Herald (world news), The Australian (world news) and Scientific American (science news).

AP: Seattle Post Intelligencer (business), MSNBC (technology), The Guardian (world news), Sydney Morning Herald (technology), the Houston Chronicle (markets), Seattle Times (world news), CBS News (technology), Baltimore Sun (world news), Washington Post (technology), San Jose Mercury News (breaking news), San Francisco Chronicle (business), Denver Post (world news), International Herald Tribune (Americas??) and the Sudan Tribune (which is a great resource for Darfur news, it turns out — pity they don’t have RSS).

AFP: Times of India (world news), iAfrica (technology) and Baku Today (technology).

IDG News service: IT World and InfoWorld.

What’s interesting is that there is no consensus among news editors as to where such a story belongs: Is the story’s most important news component the fact that there is a genocide being perpetrated in Darfur (world news), that new technologies are being employed to educate people about Darfur (technology), or that Google is involved (business)? In a sense, the situation in Darfur is not itself a “news” story, in that we all already (should) know what’s going on there. (If anything, the news is that it’s getting worse at the moment, and people I know who work there are doing so without much hope of a resolution anytime soon.) But putting the story in the technology section relegates it to a spot not followed by the people that the technology is most aiming to reach.

I think this is above all a story about how new technology is letting us all be witnesses to a genocide in progress, and how that raises our own responsibilities — so perhaps this is a story best also told in the glossy Sunday newspaper magazines, read when people have more time to play with Google Earth and where there is more room for long-form stories about larger technology trends coupled to humanitarian crises such as Darfur, but also Katrina/New Orleans and the Pakistan quake from 2005. How about it, New York Times?

My opinion: This has got to be one of the greatest blogs on earth. And he emphasis added in the above paragraph is mine.

April 11, 2007 Posted by | Africa, Blogging, Communication, Community, Crime, Cross Cultural, Dharfur, Geography / Maps, GoogleEarth, Living Conditions, Oman, Political Issues, Social Issues, Sudan, Technical Issue | 2 Comments

My Kind of House Work

The last couple days, I have been in my own personal nirvana. I have spent more time in Home Depot and Lowe’s than in the last two years. We have a new house to work on, need some work contracted, can do some of the work ourselves. It is exciting – and also terrifying. You never really know how an idea will work out.

But this gets my juices going. I love getting my hands on hammers, putting in new closets, figuring out how to upgrade a dated kitchen, painting, even reupholstering. I love the flooring departments, with all the tile samples, wood flooring samples, and carpeting. I love to see what the newest kitchens and baths are using, and to read magazines about what works and what works better. I like a house with a custom feel, something like Susanka’s The Not-So-Big-House, available from Amazon for around $14.46, where quality of space and quality of materials counts for more than square meters.


And I like doing some of it myself. Sometimes in the middle of it all, I stop and think “what am I doing???” but at the end, I usually feel SO satisfied, like I have really accomplished something.

If I had my “druthers”, I would probably buy an older home in good condition and change the floor plans, knock out walls, put in new bathrooms, and have a wonderful time doing it. Meanwhile, I am having a sample of all that “fun” right now. Wooo Hoooooo!

April 11, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Books, Customer Service, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Random Musings, Technical Issue, Tools | 1 Comment