Monday, August 08, 2005


Maybe some of you have already explored this, however i will share, as it is one crazy piece of work. As the creators put it 'Google Earth' puts a planet's worth of imagery and other geographic information right on your desktop...... View exotic locales like Maui and Paris as well as points of interest such as local restaurants, hospitals, schools'.....the list goes on. It is also a fantastic space for procrastination when essays are due and tests are waiting to be studied for! At $400 purchase cost it will damage our poor students pockets however there is a free version to download, and i recommend it. Spend a few Sunday afternoon hours here and you will feel instantly better traveled!

Google Earth essentially allows you to view global imagery at the click of your mouse. By typing in the address or location of your house, or any location in the world, you can view a satellite photograph so detailed you could possibly see your car parked on the road. Crazy. Watch the 3D interaction navigation and it feels like you are gliding over cities, tilting the images in a realistic perspective. Along with the detailed satellite images, you can pan and zoom, mark locations, and activate layers that show points of interests like banks, schools, restaurants shopping areas and heeeaapppss if your in New York City and want to find the nearest hostel or McD's the find is only a quick log on to Google Earth and there you go. I think the days of conventional maps are dwindling.

Of course the big US of A is covered with mostly high resolution images...strangely 'area 51' is slightly hazy...where as parts of south america ( my next holiday destination!!!) are less detailed. Suprisingly Takapuna is pretty well detailed. A downfall, which im sure is on the agenda to change is that images are not captured in real time, but captured by satellite images taken over the past 3 years, so it's not quite 100% accurate....

Another downfall is that Google Earth will not run on all systems. If you are running on an older computer or notebook it may have complications. Having a good internet connection is also a good idea. As of yet Google Earth does not run on Mac systems ...(why!!???)...all in good time i guess.

However Google Earth is a fantastic source for obtaining driving directions, for planning a trip, finding a location and exploring the world. Just the sight of the clear blue waters of the Bahamas, the Pyramids in Egypt or the Coloseum on your desktop is an experinace in itself.

Just about anyone in the world can explore our planet through Google Earth. Finding distances between A to B, observing natural geographic features and man-made developments, capturing high resolution images and terrain data, is a simple process for anyone using the programme whether it be for recreational purposes, commercial purposes, and it has to said, for purposes less utopian than we may be wanting to beleive. The phenomenon that it Globalisation has made creations like Google Earth possible. As Globalisation is making the world a smaller, closer space, this type of potentially harmful information is being made easier and easier to fall into the hands of the wrong people, leading to devestating effects. Although i am loving Google Earth right now, i am postivie it has the potential to play a role in this....



At 3:25 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

I'm intrigued by how you see the potential for this to be used by the forces of evil. Any particular examples spring to mind?

Also, there is a moon equivalent which debued (sp?) about a month ago.

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Andrew Cozens said...

Terrorist cells? although they probably already have that sort of tech available to them already.. but it would be useful for locating train stations, key commuter points etc.. because over in America they have all sorts of information available to you, restuarant locations, nightclubs etc.. im sure someone could take all that information and use it for something malicious.

i am yet to check out the google moon one, sounds interesting though. At the moment i dont think the images are updated in real time, at least on the free version that im using.. seems like the images are a few months old at least.

But i can see in the future this being developed into having the level of resolution currently over the north shore, if not greater and that being updated every few seconds or being able to stream a realtime view of the world right from your desktop. sort of like the stuff that was used in Enemy Of The State with Will Smith but available for the public :p

You can see all sorts of amazing things on google earth like blast craters from the war in iraq or the pyramids of giza.. currently spending time over the Amazon rainforest and looking at the extent of deforestation..

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Spivey said...

Check out this, free, and much more fun since it gives you the sights to see without you having to figure out where they are heh.

Btw, the technolgy this is based on comes from a company who has mapped the world, terrorist cells could just as easly buy it from the company as from browsing google. Google is just buying and working with the producer of the software for thier own systems. All the fancy cars out thier with satalite nav or even just cd based navs are using the same group as well. Funny huh.


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