16 February 2006

Google Earth: A Whole New Way of Looking at Our World

If you haven't checked out Google Earth, stop reading this post right now and go immediately to Google Earth and download the free version. It's an amazing experience. How easy it is to zoom around our planet or virtually fly from, say Philadelphia to Jakarta. I've played around with it a bit for my work, and even plotted a trip that I was writing about in a poem to verify the distance and terrain I was describing.

Now, according to the journal Nature, a growing number of scientists are finding it has value for laying "data with a spatial component on top of background imagery — a trick they can repeat with multiple data sets. By offering researchers an easy way into GIS software, Google Earth and other virtual globes are set to go beyond representing the world, and start changing it."

You can even check out the Olympic Winter Games in Google Earth.

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