Google Earth is maping software on steiroids. But better than maping software, prescription it incorporates hi-resoluation sattelite images as part of the package deal. So, if I go to Mapquest and request a map of downtown Seattle, I get the following picture:
But if I go to Google Earth and request a map of downtown Seattle, I get the following picture:
… which I’ll admit is pretty much just a sattelite image. But it gets better. First let’s talk about zoom. With Mapquest, when I zoom into Seattle–specifically on SafeCo Field, this is what I see:
But with Google Earth I see:
Ok. So That’s cool and all. But what’s the big deal? Well with Google Earth, I can add buildings (for selected cities) and rotate my view so it is 3-dimensional. Then I can look at the image from any direction. Check out these two shots:
I’m sure you are wondering about roads. Does Google Earth show the road names? Of course it does. Check out this zoomed in view of Seattle’s dock area:
There is more. Google Earth has 3-D images of the mountains. Last weekend Christina, my parents, and I went for a ride up Farmington Canyon in Utah. Here are two different pictures of the road we were on, both from Google Earth:
What else can Google Earth do? Let’s look at Salt Lake City. Here is a high-level view of Salt Lake City:
We can tell Google Earth to show us city boundaries, and here they appear:
If we zoom into downtown (roads turned off), we see:
Google will show us where churches are:
or where gas stations are:
or where area schools are:
or even where italian restaurants are:
Now here is where the features really get powerful. The program is completley integrated with Google Local searches. So we can use the search function to find whatever we want. Do you want to know where area quilting shops are? Have a look:
Maybe you are more into soccer. Have a look at soccer stores in the Greater SL area:
Want more info about one of the stores? Just click on the letter:
In that last picture, did you see the link for directions? You can get driving directions to or from anywhere. Here is one example. Here is a partial map with directions from the Sandy Library to the Tyler Library in Salt Lake county.
And to finish it off, here is one last picture of the temple in Sao Paulo, Brazil:
I think this is the coolest program I’ve seen in a long time. You should try it out.
I will share my disclaimer with you. You need a newer computer, and you may have to update the drivers for your video card (I did on my computer at work; Christina didn’t and my mom didn’t have to). You must have a high-speed internet connection, so I appologize to those of you who only use dial-up. You can come visit me at my parent’s house and you can see how the program works.