Google Earth Maps
The Google Earth Maps web site offers its visitors a virtual tour of the world, and galaxies beyond as well. Unlike many other mapping web sites, this application gives the user something very different from a standard interactive street map. Visually, the user can see three dimensional representations of actual cities and landmarks. If a visitor to this web site wishes to gain information about businesses that are near a specific address, this wish can be accommodated. Anyone can download Google Earth Search to their PC, laptop or Mac. The basic application is currently offered free of charge and there are extra services that are available for a fee. Additional informational categories that are available include political facts, geographical data, and social information. Whether seeking directions to a specific location, checking out local attractions, or just doing a little virtual sightseeing, this web site can get the job done. Satellite imagery supplies most of the visuals for this program along with aerial photographs.
Most visitors to this web site will begin by entering a specific geographical location. The virtual journey to this location begins for the visitor with an entrance that seems to come from the sky. A photograph of the location is revealed. Various layers of information are available at this point. Need to know about local schools? Look no further. Need a hotel or bed and breakfast? Those locations are available with the push of a button. Feeling hungry? A list of restaurants, fast food providers, or grocery stores can be obtained at the push of a button. If a user's needs are more basic, the roads layer can help them plan out a route. Perhaps a visitor to this web site just wants to get a glimpse of a well known tourist attraction. A traveler can check out the Grand Canyon, then dash over to the Eiffel Tower with ease. And the video flyover feature can provide a true bird's eye view of the trip.
Any traveler who might feel intimidated at the thought of trying to find their way around a new city can experience a simulated tour of many American cities. These tours are rendered in realistic three dimensional details, giving the impression of a chauffeured drive around town. Among the useful features of Google Earth Search are the ability to tilt, zoom, and rotate the point of view through these three dimensional cities. Another feature, Google Sky, can take the user straight into outer space. This feature uses NASA images as well as image files from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Digital Survey Consortium. Informational layers are featured here as well that inform the viewer about stars and star clusters, galaxies, nebulae, history, and classifications. An extra feature provides images and data from the Hubble Space telescope. Science fans can also view the moon and the planets in motion. The light and shadow feature allows viewers to virtually experience a sun rise or sun set from the geographical location of their choice. The educational applications of this free program are seemingly endless. Professional educators as well as home schooling families can gain a very helpful tool by logging on to Google Earth Maps
For those who are interested in contact that is more than virtual, a web community of Google Earth fans is also available. This feature provides a social networking forum for users of the site. Aviation aficionados might enjoy the Flight Simulator feature that Google Earth Search provides. Ever wondered what if would be like to fly an F-16 fighter jet? Why not take a journey on an SR22? This web site can make such virtual journeys a reality. In the way of additional hardware, a simple joystick will do the trick for this and other features, but a basic mouse and keyboard can fit the bill as well. Anyone who enjoys searching out new places might enjoy Google Earth Maps. The Bible talks about the importance of searching the Word of God. "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11)
If a user wishes to store an image that they have seen on Google Earth Maps, they can easily print the image, save it or even send it via e-mail. Links to place marks of specific locations can be e-mailed to friends as well. Visitors who enjoy remaining down to earth can zoom in on three dimensional terrains as they travel. A popular spot for visitors to this virtual universe is the Disney World Resort. If a three dimensional tour of the twenty two resorts and hotels and four theme parks that make up Walt Disney World sounds like fun, a visit to Google Earth Search could provide a mini vacation for the curious. Anyone planning a vacation at this famous destination could benefit from a drive through the happiest virtual place on earth. Travelers can even make hotel reservations or purchase tickets from this web site. Many businesses and institutions seem to be following Disney's lead. Some colleges and universities are taking advantage of this technology to create three dimensional tours of their campuses for potential students.
While the most basic of the three versions of Google Earth Maps comes without a subscription fee or charge of any kind, the two upgraded versions come with a price. The Plus version includes improved printing resolution and the possibility of incorporating data from GPS devices. The Pro version is a good deal more expensive but offers even greater printing resolution and a number of extra features and add-ons.
Google Aerial MapsWeb surfers can us google aerial maps, a free web-based mapping technology, to find almost any geographic location on the earth. This application even allows the user to find businesses in urban areas, locate street addresses and plan routes, all free of charge. The technology does not end with just locating destinations. Google maps and accompanying applications can find entertainment and attractions in a certain general area. For example, an internet user can type in "parks" and "Seattle." The technology would then generate a list of all parks in Seattle, Washington. The web surfer could then choose to actually see an aerial view or a graphic image of the park, amenities and directions. The list of capabilities continues from there. When looking at a map, the individual can pan (move from side to side using the mouse) and can zoom (view the image closer or farther away, also using the map).
Like other internet mapping programs, google aerials maps can also be used to obtain driving directions. The internet user need only to enter a starting address and ending destination, and the application will provide turn by turn driving directions. In addition, a printable map will be produced, as well as an estimated duration of travel. Since 2007, users can click on any point on their map and drag the mouse to a further location to get revised trip plans and updated routes and estimated travel times. In addition, 2007 gave internet users the capability to get walking directions, not just driving ones. If a business owner finds that google satellite maps are wrong about the location of his company, he can simply log on and drag the point of his business to where it should be. If it is too drastic of a change, the moderator will have to approve the change before it appears in the new location on the internet.
There are six standard viewing options offered by google mapping applications. The first one is the map view. This offers a topical look at the landscape in question, as well as detailed street images. The second view is generated by google satellite maps. Because these maps are derived from satellites in orbit, they offer high resolution, great quality photos of the landscape. These google aerial maps offer the same capabilities of zooming and panning, as the other mapping options do. The terrain view offers high relief rendering of the terrain, with the addition of overlaying street images for increased user understanding. The street view offers 360 views of street level geography. The sixth view offered by google aerial maps is the traffic view. This map view shows typical traffic congestion in certain areas.
Using this interface, a web surfer can view detailed images of most urban areas in the United States and Canada. There are also google aerial maps available for many populated areas in Kuwait, Japan, Australia, France and many more. There has been quite a bit of concern that the clarity of the photos will compromise the safety of certain highly secured areas, such as military bases and homes of political figures. In response, the photos of many governmental locations have been significantly blurred. In this way, these important locations are given another level of protection against potential terrorism.
A computer user must be able to run java script in order to utilize google satellite maps. The map works on a standard grid that is stored in the program and recalled when requested. As the person scrolls left, right, up, down, in or out, the java application automatically updates the page in real time. By late 2006, in response to user demand, researchers developed an application that used java able to run successfully on any mobile phone or hand held device that could recognize java input. Most of the customizable and changeable options are also available for mobile users. Now mobile devices even have a google-based GPS device that does not require a GPS receiver, like other GPS products. In order to find the exact location, a caller contacts google, who then locates the position of the cellular phone. At first, the program determines the location of the cellular tower closest to the caller. The software application then searches a database of known cellular towers. Using the estimated power of the transmitter, the program then determines a general locus around the tower that encompasses the caller's cell phone. The locus is then narrowed according to the strength of the phone's signal. In this way google satellite maps and other related software eventually narrow down the exact site of the cell phone in question. Another application, called Ride Finder, works with existing in-car GPS providers. It is available to all participating limousine and taxi companies in all of the major cities in the United States. "They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them." (Psalm 104:8)
The technology behind google satellite maps knows no end. Google Mars offers visual and infrared imagery of mars, as well as relief data of elevation. Working with NASA scientists at Arizona State University, this software provides information gleaned from two Mars missions, 2001 Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor. Likewise, google Moon offers much of the same imagery. The program combines public domain footage of the Moon's surface with the mapping interface. For obvious reasons, this program does not offer as many features as the standard desktop application.