What originally began as EarthViewer 3D in 2001, is now called Google Earth. Using GIS 3D globe, aerial photography, and imagery from satellites, this program is able to map the Earth. This is a completely free service offered by Google and provides detailed images of just about any location on the Earth. People with personal computers and even iPhones or Blackberries are able to utilize this mapping technology. The Google Earth download latest version can be found online and is easy to install.
This free version can be upgraded for a yearly fee. The upgraded version is mainly for commercial use, but anyone can pay to have the upgrade. People who are planning a trip and want to see the city they are traveling to can use Google Earth to do so. Even if someone is simply curious of the layout of any town, this same program will allow him/her to scan the city without having to travel at all. Not only can cities and towns be displayed, but also other natural features of the world. Mountains, valleys, rivers, and just about anything else that is picked up by satellite or aerial photography can be viewed through Google Earth.
Being able to view images that are in 3D is often preferred over simple 2D images. Digital elevation model data is what enables Earth’s images to be created shown in 3D. NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission collects the DEM data that Google Earth uses. Each time a new version of Google Earth is available, the images are better than before. Technology is constantly advancing with newer techniques. The change from 2D images to 3D images was possibly the largest change of all.
It isn’t only clearer and more detailed images that are shown with each new version, but also additional cities are added to the virtual map. There are still some smaller towns and cities that aren’t shown in 3D and some aren’t on the map at all. People are able to submit images of buildings and various structures through SketchUp. This 3D modeling program software allows these submitted pictures to be added to the 3D maps Google Earth displays. SketchUp is designed to be used by filmmakers, architects, game developers, civil engineers, and other individuals in similar professions. This isn’t a program that is commonly used everyday by the general public.
Images of the ocean floor are also able to be seen on Google Earth. These are images that not many people have ever gotten a chance to see and probably never would have without the inventions of Google Earth.
Available around the world and in close to 40 different languages, Google Earth has the ability to show people what other countries look like. Being able to do this from the comfort of one’s home is quite a feat. Besides being able to view images of the Earth, Google has also integrated this service with Wikipedia and Panoramino.
As if being able to view the Earth wasn’t enough, an additional feature known as Google Sky was added to Google Earth. With the assistance of the Space Telescope Science Institute, this feature enables users to view not only stars, but also many other celestial bodies. Other additions that are also found on the latest version of Google Earth include Street View, Historical Imagery, and Google Mars.
Hearing about natural disasters on the news and seeing portions of the areas affected isn’t quite as riveting as viewing the entire area where the devastation took place. The latest version of Google Earth enables users to view areas where destruction has occurred shortly after it has happened. This feature is useful in the classroom and can be helpful during the teaching of current events. Just about every aspect of Google Earth renders it a meaningful teaching tool, as well as to inspire people to take a closer look at the world they live in.
Whether the images displayed are ones of beauty or showing widespread devastation from natural disasters, this technology has changed the way people are able to view the world. There are still parts of the world that don’t show up on the Google Earth download latest version that is available. Some of these images may be added later, while others may never be seen, due to security purposes. Images that aren’t to be shown in detail are either completely absent from Google Earth or they are shown with blurred lines. There are even some countries whose government chooses to block the availability of Google Earth to their citizens.