Major Google Maps Street View Upgrade - now with 3D Features [Google Earth Blog]

Watch the video to understand. Now THAT's cool!

via Google Earth Blog by Frank Taylor of Google Earth Blog on 6/4/09

Google has just released an update to their Street View application - as viewed in the browser-based Google Maps (not yet available in Google Earth). The update has not yet been announced, and the new features may not be deployed to all country versions of Google Maps yet (based on reports I've had from GEB readers). When you move your mouse around the view in Street View, you now get a "3D" rectangle or ellipse "icon" indicating the position of a view available on the sides of buildings (and other structures), or to move you further down the street. When you double-click you get this animated motion-blur effect as you zoom over to that location and the camera turns to face the location you've picked (turns and tilts). This is a very intuitive, and much more useful, way to move within the Street View imagery. Plus, it looks really cool!

Here is a short video demo by Keir Clarke at GoogleMapsMania (I hope to replace this with a video soon which doesn't have compression artifacts during the zooming - sorry Keir! The actual views look much cooler than in this video. But, it will give you a taste):

Or, you can try the new Street View here.

Sometimes the view you pick may or may not accurately point the camera at the place you pick. Not sure if this is an algorithm problem or what. But, for the most part it gives a much more pleasing experience compared to the previous interface.

Keir Clarke points out this could mean new business opportunities within the Street View. We already have ways to search our maps, taking it to the dynamic level of moving your mouse over a view of a building and getting a hyperlink to the business will surely happen. It is inevitable. I believe the same thing will happen in Google Earth - in some ways it already happens - if you turn on the 3D Buildings layer you can often select a building and get information about the building. But, there needs to be even more database integration to tie the location of buildings to the businesses located there. I'm sure Google is working on it.

by Ben Pike

Verizon BlackBerry Pearl Flip Trickling to Stores [CrackBerry]

via blogs by Kevin Michaluk on 6/3/09

Verizon Pearl Flip

Member shotsiekid just posted some photos of a (dummy) Verizon BlackBerry Pearl Flip in the CrackBerry forums that were taken at a Verizon store. According to his source, the marketing materials and actual devices are beginning to filter into retail locations and the release date should be just around the corner. You can jump over to the forums for another photo and to discuss. Thanks shotsiekid!'s feed sponsored by Verizon BlackBerry Pearl Flip Trickling to Stores

by Ben Pike

Official Wordpress BlackBerry App Confirmed [BerryReview]

via by Ronen Halevy on 6/3/09

Throwingpapersintheair I am not sure if you are as excited as me about this but a official BlackBerry Wordpress management app was confirmed at WordCamp San Francisco. This will be like the management app provided on the iPhone which is awesome. I have been looking for a blogging client for my BlackBerry for ages!

You can read the one line about it in the WordCamp live blog of Matt Mullenweg’s “State of the Word” presentation.

So far I am hanging my hopes on:

“New Blackberry App to be released soon”

That is essentially Matt confirming that it is under development AND that we might see it this year!

Thanks Turk for sending this one in!

by Ben Pike

Test Your Site in Different Browsers Using Adobe BrowserLab [GoogleOS]

via Google Operating System by Alex Chitu on 6/3/09

If you create a web site, a difficult task is to test if it looks properly in most of the browsers and the operating systems that your users are likely to use. Unfortunately, this requires that you install multiple operating systems, buy more than one computer or use virtual machines.

An easier way to test your site is to use online services like BrowserShots, which generates screenshots for a web page in more than 80 versions of the most common browsers used in Windows, Linux, BSD and Mac. The process takes time and you may have to wait up to an hour to see the screenshots.

Adobe BrowserLab is a recently-launched service that has the advantage of generating screenshots almost instantaneously, but the number of browsers that are tested is smaller: Firefox 2.0 (XP, OS X), Firefox 3.0 (XP, OS X), IE6 (XP), IE7 (XP), Safari 3.0 (OS X). The service has an interesting "Onion Skin View", which superimposes one screenshot over another to see the differences between the different renderings. BrowserLab is integrated with Dreamweaver CS4, but you don't need to buy the software to use the online service.

"Cross-browser testing has been one of the biggest challenges for Web designers because it is such an arduous and time-intensive task. Now with Adobe BrowserLab, designers have a simple solution that enables comprehensive browser compatibility testing in just a matter of minutes," says Adobe's Lea Hickman. The bad news is that the service is free for a limited time.

by Ben Pike

9530 Storm OS Desktop Installer Now On Verizon’s Website [BerryReview]

via by Ronen Halevy on 6/2/09

Weather_the_stormJason was kind enough to let me know that Verizon has finally put up OS on their website. Many people already upgraded to this version via desktop manager auto-upgrade, web upgrade, wireless upgrade, or just used the beta version. On the other hand I know that this did not work for everybody and users on a BES usually have to wait until the carrier releases the desktop install files before their company rolls it out to all users.

So let the floodgates open. Your SysAdmins have no reason to continue denying you your OS fix…

You can find the download at these links:

And in case you are not on Verizon and cannot get a hold of the beta:

PS: Sorry about reusing the picture but it just makes me laugh…

by Ben Pike