SlashGeo pointed me to LandSerf, an interesting bit of free GIS software (not open source) for viewing and analysis of DEMs, TINs, and other files in 3D. It uses OpenGL for the 3D graphics, and has a variety of features for lighting/shading, blending of multiple images, and supports a bunch of import and export file formats. It runs on PCs, Macs, and Linux/Unix as long as you have the Java Runtime Environment. I didn’t explore too far, but it appears that it also has some scripting/API support. (Image by LandSerf)
Google announced on Sunday that it had released Google Earth for the popular iPhone device. So far it doesn’t have access to all of the content layers that you can view in the desktop version of your software, but it does have panoramio photos and Wikipedia articles and most impressively, the 3D terrain option. You can view the surrounding terrain in 3D by simply tilting your phone from horizontal. It also lets you search for nearby businesses and appears to pull in other content related to those businesses from the web, such as reviews etc. Now, if only I could come up with the $$ to spring for an iPhone! More info at CNet and Google Earth blog. Or click through for a video demo. (Photo credit: Google by way of CNet).