In the space of about fifteen minutes this morning I flew to Washington DC, Paris, Hawaii and Italy. No, I wasn’t on the Concord nor on some crazy acid trip – I just discovered Google Earth on the Internet.
Google Earth is hands down the coolest thing I’ve seen on the Net in a while. It’s basically a program that offers maps and satellite images of the world. It allows the armchair traveller to download a small program and then “fly” almost anywhere they want in the world in a matter of seconds. How neat is it to see the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids, the Washington Monument and the Great Wall of China all in one sitting? You can zoom down on these structures as if you’re flying above them in a small plane.
As many places as I visited on Google Earth, there were also those that didn’t work. Of course I typed in my own street address and that came up so blurry that I didn’t really recognize a thing. Also, the program doesn’t seem to recognize some place names when you type them in. For example, “Waikiki Beach” didn’t get a hit, but “Honolulu” did. My husband and I typed in Diamond Head (which he has seen in person) and I was shocked to discover that this old volcano has buildings and cars inside it!
I saw the shadow cast on the ground from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the five-sided structure of the Pentagon. I saw the tiny indentation of the Vietnam War Memorial and the blackened Rock of Gibraltar. Not forgetting my heritage, I checked out a few Canadian sites as well. The CN Tower looks big. The Lion’s Gate Bridge in Vancouver does not. BC Place looks like a big marshmallow and the city of Montreal was the only place that actually seemed to have clouds over it. I’m completely hooked!
I’m lucky enough to have seen some of the places that I’ve mentioned above in person and of course there’s no substitution for that. But doing a fly over of the others using Google Earth could be the next best thing – until I scrape together some more sheckles to get to those places in person of course.