Google Earth - messing about on the River [in Singapore] Thursday, September 25, 2008
Image via WikipediaI confess I don't use Google Earth very often, partly because each time that I do several hours slip by as I become so absorbed by the content e.g. tonight I've went wandering around Singapore where I used to live to see what had changed and 90 minutes had slipped by.
If you've never tried Google Earth, you absolutely must if only to be astounded by the awesome features of this free application.
In short, Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings and even explore galaxies in the Sky. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places and share with others.
Touring locations around the world, your experience is dramatically enhanced with photographs and videos that can be called up from on the surface of the map [identified with small blue squares which you click on to view]. Equally stunning are the 3D building overlays that bring cities to life with real representations of cityscapes. But, you truly experience the magic of Google Earth when you "fly" through these cityscapes using features that allow you to turn your view point through 360 degrees, pan/zoom, and move in 3d through areas.
The latest version provides
- Photo-realistic buildings from cities around the world
- Dawn to dusk views with the Sunlight feature
- Swoop navigation from outer space to street-level
There is also a huge community of Google Earth enthusiasts that have both identified interesting things on the satelitte pictures as well as having developed astonishing overlays e.g. population density maps, 3D cities, navigated tours of cities and countries. You can find some of those here and here.
Oh, and Google Earth now lets you pan around the Universe too!
Most importantly, let your kids play with it and enjoy their wonder too. You'll probably never pick up an Atlas again.