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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Online search leader Google Inc. has won a key court ruling in a patent dispute over its popular three-dimensional software that provides Internet tours of the Earth.
In a summary judgment issued Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock in Massachusetts decided that Google Earth doesn't infringe on a patent issued to Skyline Software Systems Inc. in 2002.
Skyline, a privately held company in Chantilly, Va., had been pursuing a patent infringement claim since 2004 when it first sued Keyhole Inc., whose technology powers Google Earth. Mountain View-based Google bought Keyhole for an undisclosed amount in October 2004.
Keyhole's 3-D technology powers mapping software that ranks among Google's biggest successes outside of its search engine. Google said its Earth software has been downloaded more than 100 million times.
Associated Press [biz.yahoo.com]
Am I mistaken or is this just a long winded definition of the word "to zoom" along with a description of how a server works?
i just skimmed it.
i think the key is prefetching the tiles along the z-axis (especially for adjacent zoom levels) so that a change in zoom level gives a better user experience since the center tile is already cached locally.