Google Earth Functionality, Article — and Chess!

Google Earth ChessThree nice Google Earth items to bring you (one of which includes Microsoft’s Virtual Earth, actually). First up is a nice piece in Spiegel Online about the race between Google and Microsoft to virtualize the planet. It’s linked from the All Points Blog, which notes, “I didn’t learn anything new, but it’s a nice article. And, there’s no mention of how the two will monetize these investments.” That’s a good assessment, of the piece, which still makes for worthwhile reading.

Stefan Geens at Ogle Earth also points out some nice functionality for those using Google Calendar to schedule their days: “you can put a link to a KML file in the “Where” field of an event, and Google will map it for you in Google Maps.” Nice. Here’s more info.

Lastly, Stefan also turns up Google Earth Chess! I haven’t tried it so I can’t tell you exactly how it works, but according to Stefan, “You play against others online, make your moves in the browser, and then see the resulting game develop on a big 3D chessboard in Google Earth.” This is really interesting, as it (like a few of the other Google Earth games that have come along) begins to push the app toward a more multi-user situation. Although, as Stefan points out, “I also wish it would be possible to get network links for games in progress, so we can watch along.”

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  1. Hi There,

    I’m the developer of Google Earth Chess. I came up with the idea after learning KML (google earth networking lanuage). Google Earth Chess works using a web-based game inteface written in PHP. However, any scripting language would do the job. The KML acts as the bridging language between the webpage and google earth. As you move a piece on the webpage chess board, a KML link performs the same move inside google earth. The KML is fairly easy to implement once you have the PHP written.

    In the next few weeks I hope to add the capability for viewing all games in progress. I also want to introduce different chess board themes, i.e an Egyptian theme might be played at the base of the The Pyramids for example. Another idea was to locate the giant chess boards around the world and actually play GE Chess at those sites. The GE board could be placed on top of the real one.

    The game has alot of scope to evolve into the future I believe. You could even have World Chess Player Off’s that have spectators numbers watching the game being played. With Video capabilities in the webpage you could even watch opponents as they make moves.

    Google Earth is a great universal 3D engine that more developers should start to use, its free and widely available!

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