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Google Earth on Nine News

December 5th, 2007 at 06:31pm

I was rather surprised tonight to see Nine News using Google Earth to provide a map. I suppose there is nothing wrong with it as they would be paying royalties etc, but it certainly makes a change from the usual in-house maps that news bulletins tend to use.

The story was about a yacht which has gone missing somewhere in the Pacific Ocean with four Australians on board.

The Google Earth image started with an overview of Australia, and then rotated to show New Zealand roughly in the bottom centre of the frame. Nine then superimposed their own location labels and an oval shaped blur with Missing Yacht”scrawled across it. Apart from the Google logo and the map copyright message, there were no Google Earth symbols or labels in sight.

When it comes down to it, this is a very efficient way of producing custom maps for broadcast as it will even produce the “pan from broadcast location” effect for you, which makes it much easier to put the location in perspective. It would probably be quicker than creating custom maps too, saving valuable production time for items other than graphics.

On the whole I think this is a great idea, and I look forward to seeing more stations adopt the Google Earth imagery.

I do have one unrelated thing to say to Nine News though. Asking for my thoughts on Sydney taxi drivers was a bad idea…I’m sure that there are plenty of good ones, but if I have one more taxi driver in Sydney who refuses to wear a seatbelt or has difficulty understanding basic mathematics (400 is an even number and is higher than 200 so we should keep going and not stop in a panic because you don’t know where you are going) then I will scream.

Samuel

Entry Filed under: Samuel's Editorials,TV/Radio/Media

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5 Comments

  • 1. Pen 15  |  December 6th, 2007 at 12:00 am

    Fair call about the taxis, Sam. How do you make your greviances known to them? Personally, I make a big show of noticing their registration number on the dashboard.

  • 2. davky  |  December 6th, 2007 at 8:48 am

    Taxi drivers are not required (by law) to wear seatbelts – as far as I can work out, it is a security thing to stop assailants strangling them with it.

  • 3. Samuel  |  December 7th, 2007 at 6:20 am

    It depends on the location Pen. If I am in an unfamiliar area and expect to have trouble getting another taxi, or have other reasons for not wanting to be chucked out in the location, then I will probably wait until the journey is about to end before jotting down their registration details. Otherwise I am usually more than happy to be verbose about my grievances.

    As for the ones with peculiar levels of cognitive ability (such as the example I cited above with the street numbers) I generally have to guide them. I haven’t had to deal with one that was frustrating enough to force me to vacate the taxi yet, but I’m sure it will happen one day.

    Davky, really? I’ll have to check up on that one.

    I’m still a bit concerned about the driver who insisted that the lane markers on the road were supposed to go through the middle of the vehicle.

    Incidentally, I have had many more favourable taxi experiences than negatives one, but the negative ones are more amusing.

  • 4. davky  |  December 7th, 2007 at 6:52 am

    http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/restraintschildrestraints/seatbelts/taxis.html

    “Taxi drivers are not required to wear seatbelts” – doesn’t say why it is, but at least that it is the case in NSW.

  • 5. Samuel  |  December 7th, 2007 at 6:58 am

    I’m sure they have a good reason for it. Your earlier explanation sounds quite logical to me Davky.

    Thanks for checking that.

    I should ring the RTA and listen to their annoying hold music for a while…it would be interesting to see if anybody at the other end can actually quote the reason for the taxi driver seatbelt exemption.


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