The official Google Earth plugin is one free download that makes all sorts of cool stuff possible in your browser. There's a full screen version of the program (complete with underwater views and 3D buildings) which can be searched by entering queries at the end of the URL. There's a framed version with support for layers, historical imagery, day/night cycles, and the Google Sky starmap. Less useful but more fun are Google's collection of "experiments" demonstrating the possibilities of the Earth API, including a "Geo Whiz" geography quiz, an antipode locater, a 3D first-person view of San Francisco, a virtual route-follower, and MONSTER MILKTRUCK!, a crazy fun driving simulator that lets you careen a virtual milk truck through the Googleplex campus, ricochet off the Himalayas, or explore any other place you care to name. Lots more can be found in the Google Earth Gallery -- highlights include a look at mountaintop removal mining, a real-time flight tracker, a guide to trails and outdoor recreation, a 360 panorama catalog, geotagged Panoramio photos, and the comprehensive crowdsourced Google Earth Community Layer. And while it's too large to view online, don't miss loading the Metafilter user location map into a desktop version of Google Earth! [more inside]
Cartography is the science of map-making. Seb Przd takes a photo and maps it out to build his own world of cartographical projections.
HistoricAerials.com contains a surprisingly large database of aerial photography dating back to the dawn of aviation, with a Google-Maps-like interface. [more inside]
Polyhedral Maps is a website that explores unconventional methods of mapping the surface of the earth. The most famous of these unusual maps was Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion map, which used the net of an icosahedron. Da Vinci had experimented with this technique in his “Octant” map of 1514, which used Reuleaux triangles as map elements. This process is now being used by photographers and artists in manipulating panoramic images. A good example is Tom Lechner’s The Wild Highways of the Elongated Pentagonal Orthobicupola.
Landsat Image Mosaic Of Antarctica UK and US researchers peice together the most detailed map of Antarctica yet, searching through years of data to find cloud free images.
Images of the Southwest. The American southwest, that is. The Bisbee Deportation of 1917 - 'an event specific to Arizona that influenced the labor movement throughout the United States'; early cartography of the southwest; a rural school newspaper; mission churches; folk arts - Easter eggs, murals and so on; War Relocation Authority camps (some photos ; and more.