Revolutionary Tools, Courtesy of the 'Net

The internet has made revolutionary tools available to those who are open to new ideas. Two of these tools are Google Earth and Second Life, subjects of articles on the 08 August NEW NET weekly issues list.

"How Google Earth Is Changing Science" is the title of an article in Spiegel, a German magazine. The article covers a wide range of real-life Google Earth applications, from tracking bird flu cases to displaying information about hundreds of volcanoes to aiding in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. "Within just a short time after the hurricane struck, Google Earth had already added 8,000 post-disaster aerial photographs of flooded areas taken by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA). The images allowed disaster relief workers to scan areas on the computer and search, for example, for passable roads." Can you imagine some of the interesting and ground-breaking uses students will think up for Google Earth? Google Moon and Google Mars are going to make things even more fun.

"Starwood Hotels Check Into Second Life" is the title of an article about a unique real-life application in the virtual world of SL. Starwood Hotels has hired an SL builder to construct/program an Aloft hotel in the virtual world "...as a way to attract future customers and presumably get some feedback about the brand’s features before it hits the physical world." The Aloft hotel is Starwood's new brand in the select service category. Aloft hotels will be "...offering urban-inspired, loft-like guest rooms, enhanced technology services, landscaped outdoor spaces for socializing day and night, and an energetic lounge scene." Apparently Starwood felt that people who are involved with SL are either target clients or would have good feedback regarding the Aloft hotel design. This is something Disney and other destination resorts may want to think about doing. Wouldn't it be fun to walk through different hotel layouts and around the resort before you made your reservation?

Google Earth, Second Life and other internet tools have brought useful and fun ways to present and access information important to you. These tools may bring some beneficial changes to education because now, more than ever, students with a lot of interest and a reasonable amount of skill will be manipulating and presenting information in ways their teachers will never be able to do.

I can hardly wait for the technological innovations that will allow us to make the same type of advances in holography we've made in personal computers and the internet. You won't just walk through the virtual hotel room as an avatar on your computer or follow Google Earth trips on the monitor; you'll be able to walk through 3D respresentations of them in real life! Instead of a home theatre room, your house will have a home holography room...

Here's the initial weekly issues list for NEW NET's 08 August 2006 gathering:


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