Google refreshes Maps, Earth with more high-res images

If you're looking for a bit of an escape on a Friday afternoon, you can probably get away with it thanks to some more updates to Google Maps and Earth.

Google announced today that it's rolling out an "extensive refresh" for its high-resolution aerial and satellite images, which are viewable on both Google Maps and Google Earth.

The aerial collection will be updated in more than 20 locations across the United States and Europe while satellite imagery is being boosted in over 60 regions worldwide.

Furthermore, the image collection is going to include new 45 degree … Read more

Facebookers check-in at the world's most social landmarks

People who check-in on Facebook tend to like sports arenas, public parks, and shopping centers, according to data the social network crunched to figure out the world's most social landmarks.

The data follows check-ins made in 25 cities around the globe and found that the most popular places to be during the summer months tend to be outdoors; people like shopping in markets, watching sporting events, and going to music festivals.

Obvious tourist places also seem to be a hit. Users checked-in while gazing at dinosaurs is the American Museum of Natural History in New York, people watching on … Read more

Make your mark in the music biz with Popscene: Track 2

Popscene: Track 2 is an updated release of "lone wolf" developer MDickie's music industry sim. Like the original, your 3D characters build a musical act and then manage its rise to fame and fortune--if you're good enough, that is. Along the way, you'll also have to deal with the many personal and career issues that beset music industry big shots, including unreasonable bosses, crazy fans, and even a scandal or two. The competition is tougher, too, with six record labels repping more than 100 acts, and all of them vying for a top spot on … Read more

TripAdvisor, now in your pocket

TripAdvisor is the comprehensive companion app to the popular travel Web site of the same name. It's a great resource for discovering hotels, restaurants, and things to do in destinations all around the world. It even lets you read reviews, talk in forums, and look through tons of photos shot by other travelers.

From the main Dashboard, you can jump directly into a section, and conduct a search for Hotels, Restaurants, or Things to do. But the better way to use the app is through the global search tool at the top of the screen, which pulls up all … Read more

Google Maps gets more landmarks, points of interest

Google Maps has added additional local landmarks and "prominent" businesses right on top of any map area you're browsing. Just like any other points of interest, you can click on any of these to get the a summary, which includes things like related Web sites, phone numbers, hours of operation, photos, and user reviews.

In Google Earth (Google's globe software) this layer of information is something you can turn on and off, however for Maps, Google has decided simply to bake it in. It's definitely a logical next step, considering Google recently added nearby businessesRead more

Readers offer presidential plane publicity--for free

Last month, a plane sometimes used as Air Force One was flown low over the Hudson River for a photo op, costing more than $300,000 and evoking for people on the ground memories of September 11.

On the heels of that failed presidential plane publicity stunt, we decided to test our readers' public relations chops. Keeping our focus on technology in mind, we asked them to submit recession-friendly publicity shots of Air Force One flyovers (with a little help from their favorite photo-editing tools).

Needless to say, our readers' images caused less panic among New Yorkers and were produced … Read more