Saturday, October 01, 2005

Ugly Ants and Google Earth

From the Google Blog:

At a time when the power of information technology doubles every 12 to 15 months and extends to capture every scrap we have, digitizing biodiversity information is a final frontier for IT. It's an essential step to ensure society maintains and hopefully increases bio-literacy. Toward this end, there's Antweb. It's a project from the California Academy of Sciences that has incorporated the Google Earth interface to provide location-based access to the diversity and wonder of ants: from your backyard to the Congo Basin.

You can find more information at GoogleBlog and learn how to try it yourself at the Ant Web page. In the Google Blog entry you can also see the picture of the (extremely ugly) ant "Proceratium google", named this way to thank google for their support in building the application.

In case you're wondering why I write about this in the Semantic Web context: Everybody can have her data shown in Google Earth if she just creates a suitable XML file - and thats exactly the idea of the Semantic Web: more machine understandable web data makes the web more user friendly / powefull. And now that this KMZ file is on the web you can use it in other applications - for example your tourism information system for people with Myrmecophobia (fear of ants). Alright ... that may not the best example, but you get the idea.

Tags: ,