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]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 9, 2011 -
is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe
(later The Cartoon History of the Modern World
), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies
) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit
. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn
chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States
, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides
to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment
, and (yes!) Sex
. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention
, assorted math comics
), the Muse magazine
mainstay Kokopelli & Co.
(featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"
), and more
. See also these lengthy interview snippets
, linked previously
. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 6, 2011 -
Wow. Spartacus Educational
is a masterwork of hyperlinked history with a rather eclectic list of focus topics that can suck you in and never let go. Start anywhere, and then just click, and click, and click...
In light of recent events, you might begin, if you wish, with a brush-up on the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
in Sarajevo, and from there go on to find out more about the Black Hand
secret society responsible for the killing. You may attempt to sidestep politics by going to cartoonists
, or U.S. novelists and poets
, but you will find that the site is organized against a backdrop of world politics (viewed chiefly from a British perspective), a point of view that weaves its own endlessly looping and mesmerizing mesh.
posted by taz
on Mar 14, 2003 -