Coolest Software. Ever.

The coolest piece of software I think I have ever seen has been released by Google. It is called Google Earth, this site and can be downloaded free of charge from

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:

Seattle-Google Earth

… 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:

Seattle-SafeCo Field- Mapquest

But with Google Earth I see:

Seattle-SafeCo Field - Google Earth

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:

Seattle Safeco Goole Earth

Seattle SafeCo Google Earth

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:

Seattle roads

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:

Farmington Canyon roads

Farmington Canyon roads

What else can Google Earth do? Let’s look at Salt Lake City. Here is a high-level view of Salt Lake City:

Salt Lake county- Google Earth

We can tell Google Earth to show us city boundaries, and here they appear:

Salt Lake county - city boundaries - Google Earth

If we zoom into downtown (roads turned off), we see:

Salt Lake City - Google Earth

Google will show us where churches are:

Salt Lake City churches- Google Earth

or where gas stations are:

Salt Lake City - Google Earth

or where area schools are:

Salt Lake City - Google Earth

or even where italian restaurants are:

Salt Lake City - Google Earth

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:

Salt Lake City - Google Earth

Maybe you are more into soccer. Have a look at soccer stores in the Greater SL area:

Salt Lake City - Google Earth

Want more info about one of the stores? Just click on the letter:

Salt Lake City - Google Earth

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.

Salt Lake City - Google Earth

And to finish it off, here is one last picture of the temple in Sao Paulo, Brazil:

Sao Paulo temple - Google Earth

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.

Have fun!!

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