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Exploring the earth virtually from the North East

Date 14 Sep 2007

Top experts from rivals Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth are setting out their vision of a virtual future this week at a conference organised by Newcastle University. Geomatics technology, which enables people to travel the virtual globe from their desktop computer, is becoming increasingly popular in all walks of life. It is set to expand even further in the next few years so that users can virtually navigate a town or city as if they were there on the ground.

Jon Mills, Professor of Geomatic Engineering at the University's School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, said: "All of our geomatics research revolves around this kind of technology, and bringing it to people's desktops has gone a long way towards raising awareness. Geomatics is the science of capturing and manipulating data about the earth and its features and that's what Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth do."

Also at the conference will be NASA Physical Scientist Bill Krabill, talking about latest findings around melting glaciers and ice caps in Greenland, and Neil Ackroyd, from Ordnance Survey, who will look at the challenges facing Great Britain's national mapping agency in an increasingly web-savvy world.

The Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society's annual conference (RSPSoc 2007) is taking place at Newcastle University until 14 September.

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