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Got the whole world in your hands
May 10, 2007 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Have you played with Google Earth recently? You can track flights live and in 3-D, or watch an animation of global cloud cover over the last 10 days, or simply make Google Earth prettier using NASA images. Google Earth isn't limited to the current, you can also enable historical maps from the 1700s, and view an animation that will show you what will happen in the future to New York and San Francisco if the sea levels rise. Google Earth can also shed light on previous MeFi discussions, from the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (and, indeed many other ship wrecks) to the discussion over America's top 150 buildings, now in all of their 3-D glory.
posted by blahblahblah (26 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
You know that old line from Broadcast News "What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?"? That's how I feel about Google Earth.
posted by gwint at 7:28 AM on May 10, 2007


I wish it was a website. I don't use standalone programs nearly as much. Mainly because you can't link to them.
posted by smackfu at 7:47 AM on May 10, 2007


I wish it was a website.

IAWTP and I don't really see why it couldn't be. You can't really fly around in 3D in a browser, but you can specify a lat/lon/height and camera vector, say.
posted by DU at 7:50 AM on May 10, 2007


Neal Stephenson approves.
posted by LordSludge at 7:51 AM on May 10, 2007


I wish it was a website.

Your wish is Microsoft's command.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:54 AM on May 10, 2007


I think I know what you mean gwint. When GE came out was the first time I felt like we might finally be on our way to 'the information super highway'. I mean honestly, real time (well, almost), three dimensional flight paths that is free for anyone with enough bandwidth to access. How is that not awsome with a capital AWE?

Now if you'll excuse me USA1725 is on final into O'hara...
posted by adamt at 7:59 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


As usual, MS kinda sorta understand what people want, but can't keep from cluttering it up and making it hard to use.
posted by DU at 8:15 AM on May 10, 2007


Wow, that's cool, very cool. How come I can't right click and get the passenger manifest though?
posted by zeoslap at 8:15 AM on May 10, 2007


If we can get this with GE, can you imagine what DoD has? Probably the same thing as GE, but with satellites offering a live video feed. And if you double-click on a person walking down the sidewalk, the satellite drops a penny on their head from 22,000 miles up.

It can also see through your pants.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:27 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


That'll teach you to wear white pants with black undies.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:31 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


DoD wishes it were half as cool as Google.
posted by DU at 8:45 AM on May 10, 2007


The 3-D building thing confused the hell out of me last night. I was going to zoom in on my beloved's folks' house in Toronto and there was this... extra... building. A building at least as tall as the CN tower, sitting pretty at Yonge and College.

Took forever to find out what it was -- the aborted Maryon Tower, which would have gone up in the early 70s. All 2200 feet of it.

Cool, but we spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out if it was the proposed Trump tower or what. Would it have killed the GE people to put a giant rotating dingus on top of the tower reading "WARNING NOT REALLY THERE"?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:21 AM on May 10, 2007


Google's so awesome. I become more convinced every day of the ginormity of their awesomeness... and therefore the inevitability of their impending trajectory into Evil.

I'll enjoy the awesomeness a bit longer. So many pretty maps.

How come I can't right click and get the passenger manifest though?

The right-click didn't work for you?
posted by Tehanu at 9:56 AM on May 10, 2007


The National Weather Service can make overlay files for GE. Very Cool. http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ridge/kmzgenerator.php
posted by tayknight at 10:04 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


self link to my MefiProject NYC Google Earth pack!
posted by Mach5 at 10:14 AM on May 10, 2007


See "Curbs on satellite photos may be needed" by Katherine Shrader, Associated Press, May 8: Strategic Security Blog, 'A project of the Federation of American Scientists '
posted by acro at 10:33 AM on May 10, 2007


I paid for this back when it was still not a Google product. Then google bought it and the high-res photos of my locale went away. I mean, WTF? They obviously exist, I was looking at them just the night before. But now there are generic "taken from Saturn" shots that are unzoomable.

maps.live.com, on the other hand, has ultra-close side view aerial photos of the island I live on. That currently has me absolutely stoked.
posted by maxwelton at 10:53 AM on May 10, 2007


I wish it was a website.
Your wish is Microsoft's command.


Only for MS-Windows though.
posted by octothorpe at 11:06 AM on May 10, 2007


This Google Earth, it vibrates?
posted by dhartung at 11:59 AM on May 10, 2007


Only for MS-Windows though.

Yeah, it's a bitch. I mean, only 98% of the computers run Windows.
posted by Charles Wilson at 1:15 PM on May 10, 2007


Not around here, they don't.
posted by puke & cry at 2:19 PM on May 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


I wonder how often they update the photos? I just looked up my address and it still shows my shed in the backyard which I had torn down and removed 2 months ago.
posted by govtdrone at 6:44 PM on May 10, 2007


I wonder how often they update the photos? I just looked up my address and it still shows my shed in the backyard which I had torn down and removed 2 months ago.

They say every 18-24 months.
posted by blahblahblah at 6:54 PM on May 10, 2007


Update? Bwa ha ha. Some of us have been waiting years for photos that don't pixelate at 20,000 feet.

Around where I am, FlashEarth is the shit. I have access to half-a-dozen choices with better local imagery than Google's. Not that I begrudge them their features. But look up Taliesin in the AIA layer. The detailed model seems to be an island on an ocean of rolling ten-foot-square blocks.
posted by dhartung at 9:27 PM on May 10, 2007


I only just recently noticed that they've improved their maps for most major cities with 3D models of the buildings when you zoom in (not the satellite view--just the regular map view). For example: Boston, Washington, D.C., New York, San Francisco, Dallas.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:45 PM on May 10, 2007


You can't really fly around in 3D in a browser

Well, actually...

(not that I'd ever advocate ActiveX plugins)
posted by phearlez at 8:21 AM on May 11, 2007


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