The new Google Earth

Posted: February 11, 2009 in technology and the future
Tags: ,

I opened up Google this evening and was drawn in by a new feature for Google Earth.  It told me I could explore the ocean!  Well thoughts of fishes and other marine life danced through my head.  Except it’s not there yet.  What they mean is you can see the terrain on the ocean floor from their satellite imagery.  It’s still impressive, but I’ll check back on that feature once they’ve figured out street view down where it’s wetter under the sea.

In the mean time, I proceeded to explore other parts of the world from the comfort of my computer.  I headed up to Anchorage and saw a whole lot of snow, then jetted down to sunny LA where street view was well developed.  Visited Little Tokyo and looked at some people crossing the street.  I thought ‘what a cool way to explore a place before you ever actually attempt to visit’.  Can you imagine what travelling will be like once street view is worldwide?  I know street view prompted some privacy fears awhile back, but right now, the image quality is blurred just enough that I would never know who that person driving the getaway car is.

After I finished up with LA, I thought I would explore a little more.  My eyes wandered to one of the buttons at the top of the screen.  It was an icon with a picture of a planet.  Space?  And Google?  My curiosity piqued at once.  The drop down menu revealed the ability to look into the heavens (sky mode), and also to head straight to Mars.

Screenshot of Mars from Google Earth 5.0

Screenshot of Mars from Google Earth 5.0

Not only does Google have pictures of Mars from a distance, but you can zoom in to the surface and find points of interest.  Now if this is where encyclopedias are going… I’ll buy the whole set please.

Oh, and the other part that impressed me?  Google already knew that I was on a Mac when I went to download the new Google Earth.  No selecting between a PC file or a Mac file.

Colour me impressed.  I’ll be exploring Google Earth more.

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