GE: My first attempt with Google Earth

Spent the day playing with the free version of Google Earth (download here) and I find it very intriguing and fun at the same time. For those how have no clue of what I am saying here, Google Earth is a ground-breaking (in my opinion) application in fusing the mapping and web technology. I know there are the old players out there whom already have covered this ground, but not to the extent of getting people with no GIS experience and knowledge to actually love using it. To shed some light on this (until you download and give it a try) it’s actually a 3D mapping program which relies on internet connection to download satellite maps and other information. Other features are like uploading your GPS handheld tracks to see where you have been, or import/export to numerous formats to be used in other GIS applications.

I can see a new group of internet users out there emerging just by the release of this application: the die-hard travellers seeking new adventurous or romantic travel spots around the world. In the old days, travel-seekers would buy lots of paper maps, magazines & books about the place they want to visit. In near future, people will start to rely on Google Earth to aid them in planning their trip. I can see that because people are already surfing the web (using Google to search, nontheless) to get more information about the places of interest. Now you’ll be asking “what is so ground-breaking about this program?”. The answer is simple, Google Earth’s community is growing and more people are contributing to add more information to the database. So if you pickup this program in another year’s time, you’ll be able to pick which longhouse in the Borneo Rain Forest you would like to spend your annual leave for an adventurous vacation! Now this is just part of what the program can do, other trends of applying the technology is also emerging: online war gaming on actual real countries, real-estate assessment, to name a few. Look what they are offering now, the waypoints to where all events of Torrino 2006 will be held. I did check out the location, and it was breathtaking seeing the 3D landscape of mountain terrains which is nicely rendered using either OpenGL or DirectX. Speaking of which, you will need to ensure your PC is powerful enough to handle this program. I remember reading from their requirements about computers older than 4 years old might have problem running smoothly.

2 thoughts on “GE: My first attempt with Google Earth”

  1. Hi there,
    Yes, I have been using Google Earth occasionally, but it was nice to read your ‘technical’ review of its capabilities and wide application potential. Thanks.
    As a matter of fact I visited your website because Ian (Moderator) in Miricommunity had in his msg in the forum given me a link. I am looking for maps of Miri, as I am expecting to move there shortly. When I tried the link I got an error msg saying “Flis is missing”, so I drilled up to your website to look for it. I found your post of 12 Feb 2006 but no file attached
    Description: File last updated on the 11th February 2006.

    Filename: MiriCommunity20060211.kmz
    Filesize: 19.12 KB
    Downloaded: 120 Time(s)
    would appreciate you giving me the link.


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