Friday, July 1, 2005

Google Maps and the "Eye in the Sky"

Online mapping utilities are so handy. Each time that I want to get a quick set of instructions on how to get somewhere, I can always get a pretty good idea of where I am going by using an online map site.

Recently Google launched their own map service called (what else?) Google Maps. Their rendition of an online map service has really impressed me. Not only do they offer an extremely intuitive interface by giving you the ability to "click and drag" the map in any direction, they also give you the ability to see what your map looks like from a "bird's eye view."
Google Maps Satellite Button
For example, when I searched for San Antonio, TX, it shows me a nice view of the city in a digitally rendered view... but when I click on the little "Satellite" button in the top right corner, I get a view that is straight from the clouds.

Google also just released a software program that allows you to view the entire globe in a similar "bird's eye view." The program, called Google Earth is a great tool to use to view the images that our satellites capture for us. As a special bonus, the program is a free download! A word of caution, the program is addicting! You may catch yourself spending hours spinning and searching your virtual planet Earth.

Links: Google Maps, Google Earth

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