Chrome OS for web mapping delivery

19 Dec 11 WebGL in Google Maps – arrives on Linux, but not Cr-48

This surely has to do with graphic hardware limitations in the Cr-48, but tonight I noticed that I was able to install WebGL viewer for Google Maps on Ubuntu.  System requirements have been opened up to Chrome 14+ on Windows, Mac, and now Linux.

No such opportunity appears to exist yet for the Cr-48, perhaps never?

01 Nov 11 New Month, new version — and Google Maps GL Viewer goodness

A couple of new versions have dropped through in the past 10 days.  Tonight’s bump took the Cr-48 up to this:
Firmware  Mario.03.60.1120.0038G5.0018d
ChromeOS  1193.20.0
Google Chrome  16.0.912.50  with WebKit 535.7 @98493  and V8

During the daytime, I’ve had an annoying hassle with uploads on the web site management interface Web Host Manager (WHM), in just its newly updated File Manager’s upload page.  Normally, a little dialog shows progress of the upload in text form.  In the latest versions of Chrome, be that beta, Canary / SXS, or Chromium in the 15+ version number, the File Manager upload does not complete, and might even invoke a memory leak.  When I left a page open and failing on the Chromebook, later that day I actually had to take the battery out to get the poor thing back to the normal state.  I’ve opened a but report at Chromium, but it’s hard for me to provide the right environment to those who need to see it fail first-hand.  All in a day’s beta testing!

Also during the day, I’ve made use of the new Google Maps Map GL interface that mediates between plain (2d) map views, the “45 degree” view, the Google Earth plugin view, and Street View.  Sounds like a lot until you’ve seen it in action–smooth as silk!  Just a scroll of the mouse wheel and it slides from one to the next to the next.  The transitions between different 45-degree views are mediated using a surface model from Google Earth.  One gets a virtual reality effect in seeing the landscape, with trees and structures modeled as 3D shapes, spinning to the next view.  It is really elegant.  When popping from a 45-degree view into Street View as well, there’s a 3D shape mediating the transition.  Really elegant, and I’ve been working it for several hours a day, extracting information into a GIS system where I have a lower-resolution image that I’m decoding using the sharper views in Google Maps.