I just downloaded this yesterday and damn is this thing cool.

Google Earth is now free. Simply put: Google Earth puts you in control of the earth. Type in any location you want, and you will immediately start to zoom all over the globe until you reach your destination, zooming in closer and closer until you can see the satellite photography for each location, which you can then zoom in on until you can see the (slgihtly grainy) picture of the top of your house.

The really cool thing about Google Earth, besides just the fact that it exists, is the functionality. You can turn terrain on and the map will render in 3D to instead of flat. For certain cities you can turn on 3D buildings and actually see polygonal representations of each building. You can put a thumbtack in on a certain location, say, all the places you’ve lived, and even better, you can then send those locations to your friends who can then import them, just like bookmarks in your browser, directly into their Google Earth program.

The only drawback is that you need to be connected to the Internet for the program to work, and broadband connection really helps.

There’s also just a ton of useful information that you can turn on and off. Major roads. Railways. Landmarks. City and country boundaries. Streetmaps. Locations of nearest restaurants, gas stations, etc. It’s really really cool (if I haven’t said that enough).

Go and download it and play around for a few minutes and you’ll see what I mean.

I am going to start putting in some pins for places I’ve lived and then put those up on the blog. Then I am going to zoom around the globe, taking a condensed tour of my life.

Now how cool is THAT!

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