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Transforming Paper and Plastic into a 3D Interactive Experience

The Google Earth API was used as a foundation for StrataLogica to make use of its sophisticated image rendering logic, satellite imagery and access to built-in tools and navigation controls. As an enterprise scale application, we faced some interesting challenges and gained many insights along the way that we d like to share.

Our first task was to prove we could wrap Nystrom s existing educationally focused maps and globes onto Google Earth while retaining the same high quality resolution delivered in their print products.

Achieving acceptable image resolution resulted in file sizes which were much too large. In addition, we needed to deliver an increased level of map content and granularity of images as the user zoomed into the earth. To address these two issues, we created a custom process that takes an Adobe Illustrator file and outputs Superoverlays in accordance with KML 2.1 standards. Using open source Python frameworks, we created a customized solution that outputs Superoverlays with various levels of content.

Our next challenge was to provide support for authoring and maintaining content, in the browser using the Google Earth plugin. All content is authored and maintained in a content management system CMS in much the same way as any dynamic website. One unique difference is that some of the content elements are geo-referenced coordinates that specify the location of content on earth. In the case of placemark balloons, the geo-referenced coordinates identify hotspots on the Nystrom maps which become clickable when the user turns on a setting. The placemark balloons provide supplementary audio, image, video and descriptive content such as the example shown above for the Appalachian Mountains.

Go Mobile with Master Accuracy

Given the rise of Mobile Internet users in past few years it has become quite important to have mobile or lite version of your blog. Mobile users generally do not like to download relatively heavy blog that are made for normal internet connections and web browsers.

There are number of solutions for bloggers for both WordPress & Blogger platforms and I have personally tried a few of them, but I have not been too satisfied Either they are too complex to setup or they are not exactly mobile-friendly.Here at trak.in, we had been using custom mobile blogger solution for past couple of months from Mobstac and were quite satisfied with what they had to offer. However, now Mobstac has gone ahead and launched a platform which allows bloggers to create mobile version of their blog. I got trak.in s mobile version up and running on the new platform in under 5 minutes.