Google Earth Replacing Desktop Globes For Many Scientists

from the unintended-beneficiaries dept

It’s always interesting to see how new technologies get used in totally unexpected ways — sometimes for good and sometimes for bad. There was a lot of complaining a few months back that Google Earth was a security risk by revealing certain sites to anyone with a computer. However, on the flip side, it appears that various scientists are embracing Google Earth, realizing that it’s a great platform to use with much of their research. It wasn’t one of the intended uses — but it does show how creating an open platform that encourages development (rather than a locked down one that tries to charge for everything) can lead to new and innovative uses.


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Comments on “Google Earth Replacing Desktop Globes For Many Scientists”

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12 Comments
Whatever he said says:

I'm cool with it for now....

For the moment you can’t see my backyard very well on Google Earth, but I expect someday you will, for nothing. As much as I appreciate technology, this one illustrates potential issues.

As cool and usefull as it is, I dread the day my mother calls and says, “what are you growing in your backyard.” Legal or not, its gonna suck.

Anonymous Coward says:

Odd that this should come up just now...

I spent the afternoon at work (don’t tell my boss) using Google Map to peruse my home town in New York.

Checked out the house I grew up in, my elementary and high schools, the ball field and playgrounds that we played on as kids, the diner that was my first job, and on and on. Memories from 40 and more years ago came to the forefront as I viewed the high-res satellite images.

Way cool!

Whatever he said says:

Where does it end?

I use it — my nav system and mapquest have let me down more than once.

So a future G-earth would be at least a nearly real-time, continuous streaming image, with enough resolution for a botonous to give me advice remotely, and scientists could track their walruses and dolphins, and maybe I could tie in my daughter’s cell phone, and my wife’s, and … hmm

Ringold says:

Heh, neighbors where I used to live had a pool that wasn’t screened in. Invariably every day this older woman would go get some sun in one of just a few bathing suites.

Upon checking, just as I suspected, sure enough, you can JUST BARELY make her out. At another site, I think MSNs, can’t see her too well, but thanks to the angle view thing and a decent rez, can tell she left the back sliding door open.

I know somewhere, somehow, one of these services has caught some folks in public sex and nobodies just noticed it yet. For now, they’re probably protected by being just about 10 pixels long.. but.. in the future..

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