google earth - [was: Re: Another simple GPS+GPRS idea]

Joel Newkirk moko at
Mon Nov 27 21:11:08 CET 2006

Gabriel Ambuehl wrote:
> On Monday 27 November 2006 16:45, Jeff Andros wrote:
>> the Google maps website does list a linux version, but it lists a pentium
>> class processor as a system requirement, I wonder if we could get google to
>> do a custom compile onto our hardware, seems like their style
> Google Maps is a webapp no? And if you mean Google Earth, that's such a 
> resource hog that it barely works on my 1.6Ghz Notebook with Nvidia 5200 GO 
> card...

Exactly - the application Google Earth gobbles 3D graphics resources
like mad. (3d chipset, cpu, math)  Does beautiful things with them, and
I'd love to have a handheld zoomable satellite-imagery globe, but unless
rendering is offloaded to a server somewhere (and I suspect Google would
have to do that) I don't see it running too well.

Don't get me wrong, I'd buy a Neo just to have handheld linux wireless
GoogleEarth with GPS.  But apart from the resource requirements (both in
 horsepower and bandwidth) there's also serious UI concerns that would
need to be addressed.  A gesture-oriented interface is a great match for
Google Earth, but a 2.8" 640x480 screen is far from optimal...  Pared
down to view-only with gesture controls, and pop-up menus and toolbars
for things like waypoints and searches, it could work.  But it would
require significant effort from some coders at Google/Keyhole to make it
happen.  (the idea of GoogleEarth travel/directions animations synced
with GPS data is exciting)

Now Google Maps is just web-access.  Needs Javascript and Java, IIRC,
with a modern browser, so you can drag and zoom and what-not.  I've
crafted links in a wireless tower monitoring program that pulls the GPS
data from the radio and opens a browser window looking at satellite pics
of the tower vicinity via Google Maps.


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