Google Earth has already been used to find Atlantis (sort of), help British looters, and even allow you to explore Mars. But, thanks to a determined rescuer, it’s now been used to track down previously hidden airplane wreckage.
Volunteers searching for the wreckage of millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett’s airplane had come up empty handed in all previous attempts to find his whereabouts. However, shortly after the team had given up hope, one of the rescuers found a picture of a forest fire that had been taken the same day as the crash on Google Earth, and thought that it was in the similar area. After alerting the family and setting up a website, they were able to find the exact area where the picture was taken, and the wreckage.
Sadly there wasn’t a happy ending for the families of the two that were lost in the crash, Marcy Randolph and William Westover, but it does provide closure.
Earth Day is the one hippie-holiday of the year everyone can partake in—it’s a celebration of this giant rock we call home! This annual event strives to bring awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment. Some people throw festivals or plant trees, but what about those of us who wish to celebrate Earth Day in a technology-friendly way?
Dust off your Google Earth application (or download it, if you don’t already have it) as we’re going to show you five amazing things Google Earth can do to celebrate Earth Day.
Some people harness the awesome power of Google Earth to view distant lands they may never reach, take in a crime in progress, or maybe even find a 3 billion dollar shipwreck. At least that’s the claim of Nathan Smith, a Los Angeles musician who appears to have spotted the remains of a Spanish barquentine while zooming in on a shoeprint shaped object in the Aransas Pass in Texas. This assumption was based on historical records which put a lost barquentine (three massed sailboat) near that location south of Refugio, Texas, in 1822.
After consulting with a few experts, he traveled to the location which just happens to be the private ranch of the late Morgan Dunn O’Connor. The result of this drama will end up being decided in the courts with the family of Mr. O’Connor and Mr. Smith in a bitter dispute over salvage rights. If the courts determine that the land is located within a navigateable waterway, the first person to find the wreck is entitled to the spoils, otherwise the bounty goes to the O’Connor family.
As if this wasn’t complicated enough, the state of Texas is also considering its options because it disputes the existence of a commercial waterway near the wrecks location. If this is proven true, the state might have found a surefire way to balance its books come budget time. U.S. District Judge David Hittner will rule on the salvage rights within two months time.
With a struggling and uncertain economy, chances are a trip to Madrid probably isn't in the cards for the immediate future. But just because you might not be planning an overseas vacation doesn't mean you have to miss out on some of the sights; namely the paintings taking residence inside the Prado Museum.
Thanks to a collaboration between Madpixel, Google, and Prado Museum, 14 works are available for viewing through Google Earth at an astounding 14-gigapixel resolution. That's 14 BILLION pixels, and 1,400 times the resolution of a 10MP camera, or up to 100-thousand times that of a normal digital camera. The ultra-high detail allows you to zoom in close enough to see the painter's brushstrokes, Google says.
This marks the first time Google has worked with a first class museum in a project this size, and more artwork is expected to be made available every day for the next two weeks. In the meantime, virtual visitors can also take a tour through a 3D model of the Prado Museum.
Google’s latest build of their extremely popular earth-browsing application, Google Earth features a total visual overhaul on the Big Apple, complete with photorealistic 3D models of most of Manhattan Island.
Go ahead and update your copy of Google Earth and fly yourself to New York City. Once you’ve turned on the 3D building layer tilt your view so that you can check out the buildings! If you’re feeling saucy, you can even boot in the up game flight-sim and pretend you’re one of the Blue Angels at San Francisco’s Fleet Week!
With any luck, this is a showing of what’s to come. As a native Seattleite and previous San Franciscan, I’m anxious to see my two favorite cities come to life in this fashion.
Even as Google pushes its own SmartPhone platform, it continues to release some pretty rad apps for the competitor. Google Earth for the iPhone has hit the App Store’s virtual shelves as a free download, and it’s definitely worth a look.
The pint-sized Google Earth looks to have all the same functionality as the computer version, including integration with Wikipedia and Google’s Panoramio library of pictures from around the world. Of course, navigation is a little different on the iPhone, with zooming controlled by pinching your fingers on the screen, and scrolling handled by sweeping a digit across the display. In a nice touch, the viewing angle can be controlled by actually changing the angle of your iPhone.
The apps also integrates Google’s “My Location” feature, which uses cellular tower triangulation to identify your approximate location on the map.
They’ve also posted a video showing off the new app. Check it out and let us know what you think.
It’s hard not to like Google Earth. It’s free, it’s fun, and now it’s about to get sharper than ever. The GeoEye-1, a commercial imaging satellite sponsored by Google and considered to be the world’s most accurate snapped its first photo on Wednesday, Wired reports.
The satellite takes photos at a maximum resolution of 41 centimeters, high enough—in other words—to spot your dog from space. Unfortunately for Google, the government places restrictions on the max resolution of commercial satellites, meaning that Google will only be allowed to use images with a resolution of 50 centimeters or worse.
And speaking of the government, although Google is the primary corporate sponsor of the GeoEye, the satellite’s number one customer is the US government’s National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Eager to avoid an unflattering label, Mark Brender, VP of communications and marketing at GeoEye, says “This is the opposite of a spy satellite. Spies don’t put info on the internet and sell imagery.”
So now Google’s armed with its own not-a-spy satellite. Are you concerned about your privacy, or just psyched for a higher-res Google Earth? Let us know after the break.
Google’s Street View service has already hit a roadblock in the UK, even before its launch across the Atlantic. Google would be hoping that this is just a hurdle and not a dead end for Street View’s UK version. Street View is an extension of Google’s navigational and mapping services that features photographs of locations on Google Maps and Google Earth.
A U.K rights organization, Privacy International, believes that the service violates people’s right to privacy as Street View photographs freely feature passers-by, that too, without their consent. The organization has been in constant touch with Google over the issue but seems unsatisfied with the answers it has received thus far. Google has tried to placate Privacy International with promises of a new technology - which it claims is under trial – that can identify human faces and blur them.
However, every bit the cantankerous and incredulous social rights organizations, Privacy International has asked Google to either furnish more details of the technology within a week or run the risk of being officially referred to the Information Commissioner, who can even gatecrash Google’s ‘Street View’ launch plans.
Privacy International has a plausible reason behind its skepticism. It points to Google’s track record of freely reneging on such promises; as it did with the promise of developing ‘crumbling cookies’ after acquiring DoubleClick.
Quick, call Maxwell Smart. We’ve identified a KAOS plot aimed at destroying American worker productivity. Now thanks to 3DConnexion, that evil plot to have 90 percent of Americans flying all over the globe using Google Earth—instead of working — just got easier, and thus more KAOtic.