Google Earth

So there’s an amazing “3D interface to the planet” that Google’s made and released… and you can download a great FREE beta version! Check out Google Earth.(Click on “Get Google Earth” in the top right corner.) The only problem is that a lot of people are downloading it so you might need to check back for a few days until you can catch it.

Not only does it show satelite photographs of pretty much everywhere, but it makes them 3D. In big cities, it even has the buildings pop up from the screen as large, gray, 3D structures — I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they add the real surfaces to them. Apparently they made these structures using large infrared beams on trucks and that’s why it’s only available in big cities… for now.

You can also do all the basic stuff as on places like MapQuest but the directions are on the 3D maps. You can even do searches for things like grocery stores and it pops up signs all over the map indicating where the stores are… you can even do this while looking at any view of any place, not necessarily a specified location.

Anyway, it’s really amazing. I could go on and on but you should go check it out yourself! I’ve heard the way they make money is by selling an even better version of it to businesses to use… I wonder how long before more advanced stuff like this is free to the general public.

5 Responses to “Google Earth”

Too bad it’s not Mac compatible yet… dammit!

Josh - July 2nd, 2005 at 1:39 pm

What amazes me is just how useful I’m actually finding Google Earth… I downloaded it as a toy, but already I’ve used it to:
* Find a bike path that doesn’t cross a private golf course
* Identify the distance I’d have to walk to a beach we wanted to visit
* Find the nearest fireworks stand to my house

I’m mighty tempted to pony out the $20 (per year) to Google for the Plus version, which can incorporate data from my GPS and other nifty stuff.

Paradoxdruid - July 5th, 2005 at 6:15 am

… Delete and try again?

Teisha - July 13th, 2005 at 4:00 pm

Hmmm… I think the neato features you mention, bike paths and distance and such can be had from… although admittedly it must be at much lower resolution. I wouldn’t know since is _STILL_ not supported for Mac. 😛

Josh - July 20th, 2005 at 7:36 am

Yeah, but Google Maps doesn’t do dynamic elevation, like actually seeing down “The Grand Canyon”: or seeing “3D buildings”: for large cities (I like combining the two and zooming through the Las Vegas strip, identifying the casinos as I go).

In a year, it’ll probably be on Macs– or easily emulated if not. I can’t wait to buy an iMac (intelMac). 🙂

Paradoxdruid - July 23rd, 2005 at 10:52 am

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