1. Computing

Try Google Earth: a Magnificent Satellite View of the World.

Pt. 1: What Is Google Earth?

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Fenway Park, viewed by Google Earth

Fenway Park, viewed by Google Earth

Geomatics software for the everyperson.
Special thanks to guest technical author, Joanna Gil, for this fine introduction to Google Earth software.

Have you ever wondered how your neighborhood looks when viewed from a plane? Perhaps you have seen an aerial map of your town at the local library, or spotted your house from the basket of the balloon ride? The view from up there can be spectacular but what do you do if you're not too crazy about heights?

You get "Google Earth"!

Google Earth, brought to you by the talented folks from Google, is a 3D interface to viewing our planet. It combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world's geographic photography right on your computer's desktop.

How Google Earth Works: Google Earth is easy to use, informative, and well presented. By entering even a partial address in Google Earth search box, you can zoom in to a specific satellite photo of most any spot on Earth. You can find a business, get directions to a party, or even see what your next vacation resort looks like from above. You can search for schools, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, parks and other point of interest. By merely entering a name of an exotic destination into Google Earth's search, you can take a virtual trip to it. The program even lets you customize the view by tilting it at the angle you specify.

The Google team has also created an overlay of images of the impact of Hurricane Rita and Katrina collected by National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and provided an updated damage assessment file, and a listing of Red Cross shelters. The recent addition also includes Google Earth KML files that show updated Pakistan earthquake-area imagery.

Sample screen shots from Google Earth:

Next: there are four Google Earth versions you can download…

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