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Google Earth: Helping Us View Earth in a Whole New Way

Making its debut in the middle of 2005, Google Earth was an innovative virtual globe that allowed users to view satellite images of almost anywhere in the world. Seeing the roof of your house or your car in the driveway after zooming in from the earth as a whole was certainly a unique and exciting thrill, but after the initial appeal wore off, users began to draw a collective yawn.

Clambering for more exciting features, the latest version of Google Earth has finally arrived. Labeled Google Earth 5.0, the most prominent update is the addition of an ocean. While older versions of the program had a vague blue section that everyone accepted as the ocean, this new version features the ability to actually dip below the ocean surface. Users can now view the layout of the sea floor in 3D, and they can also view accompanying videos of ocean life, ocean expedition logs, and more.

Other features include the advent of a special kind of time elapse. Rather than viewing one stationary satellite image, you can now move back and forth in time. For a particular thrill, watch San Francisco’s Silicon Valley blossom from practically nothing to a booming technological hub over a fifty year span.

And for the star struck Google user, another enticing feature is 3D Mars. This allows us to see the Red Planet in all its 3D glory.

1 Comment

  • Jason Barone

    Google Earth rocks, I’ve been a LONG time internet user and have never downloaded the actual desktop version until about a week ago (always just used Google Maps). I’ve been missing out BIG TIME. I can’t believe how much is integrated into it. My favorite thing about Earth is that Google has integrated the “Layers” where basically you can view anything from Weather, to directory listings, to Place of Interest, to Earthquakes, and even 3D models.
    I also gave Microsoft’s Visual Earth a look, it doesn’t even compare to Google Earth. I’d say the only thing I did like about Visual Earth is the “birds-eye” views (aerial pictures). I bet Google is working on getting this though…

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