The How Google Earth works Part II.



How does Google Earth work?

Google Sky has been a part of Google Earth software since 2007. This feature uses digital mapping and photography from NASA, the Digital Survey Consortium, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Google Earth pulls together a map of space, with the planets and constellations being just a few of the things that can be looked at. And the flyover feature that’s available for traveling the streets of New York is also available when using Google Sky. So hop among the stars and truly see that even the sky has no limit! Google Sky has every option that is available in Google Earth so you can make a roadmap among the stars and use different layering to highlight different items. Plus you can also click just about anywhere in outer space and be taken to different NASA links where you can learn more about the history, development, and features of that particular location. Use the Hubble Showcase to check out some actual pictures taken from the Hubble Space telescope. That’s definitely something that only Google Earth can do!

Google Sky has so much more than just this too. You can take a tour of the Life of a Star and find out just how a star is created, what it does during its lifespan, and how it eventually dies out. You can also take advantage of the User’s Guide to the Galaxy, which will give you a complete tour of outer space.

Even though Google Earth brings us features that were unheard of before are actually available to us through fairly simple technology. Google Earth was once a program that could be purchased for $90 and was known as Keyhole. Google purchased Keyhole and instantly had access to digital pieces of information that had been collected through the use of satellites and aircraft. There are many different programs and pieces of software that are used to collect the images. TeleAtlas and EarthSat are just two of the different programs that are used to make up the collective images. Programs such as these use actual photographs and maps and turn them into digital form. Because Google Earth uses information from differing sources, different areas may be a bit more unfocused or appear clearer and crisper than others.

There are a few tricks to Google Earth that make it different than actually looking at the world through a video webcam. The first is that pictures are not taken in real time. So if you’re checking out your friend’s neighborhood, you won’t find them walking their dog down the street. Some locations are dated only every three years, although some areas such as those in developing communities are being updated much more than that.

Another thing to be aware of when using Google Earth is that more populated areas are usually updated more often and have more information available pertaining to them. For instance, Google Earth has a wide range of information on countries such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. However, information about a neighborhood in India might not be vast. And while you can search for the Egyptian pyramids, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a coffee shop in the area.

Getting this amount of information packed into one software, and make it so even those with a slow-running modem could have access was one of the biggest challenges Google faced when creating the software. Essentially they do it by taking one big picture and breaking it up into pieces. Even though you don’t see it happening, it then feeds itself into your computer bit by bit very quickly. Google Earth also uses the computer’s cache, so once you have searched for and visited a location, if you choose to go back there, Google Earth will be able to pull up the information very quickly using the cache. This is one of the most basic ways that users can customize Google Earth. Users can also bookmark favorite places and highlight certain areas, shops, hotels, and such that are of particular interest to them. Then they can save it, print it, or email it. Google Earth has such innovative technology that you can go anywhere, find anywhere, and do just about anything with that information!

But while many people marvel at Google Earth’s capabilities, it has its fair share of skeptics. If you think about, while you’re tinkering around in Google Earth and reaching out to touch all four corners of the globe, someone could very well be looking into your neighborhood and checking it out. And just like everything else on the Internet, this raises its fair share of privacy concerns. Google has quickly dispelled the idea that Google Earth could be used for misuse or for any types of stalking, cyber or otherwise. This is because Google Earth isn’t bringing any new information to the table. It’s simply using information that’s readily available otherwise and presenting it in an entirely new way. And there’s also the fact to consider that Google Earth does not provide real-time images. This means that no one can watch the actual happenings of a neighborhood, they can just view the layout of it.

Other than personal privacy, Google Earth has also has many voice concerns over the intrusion to national security that such a program could cause. Countries such as Britain and Australia have voiced these concerns as well as the United States. However, South Korea has been the most vocal about these concerns. This is because it’s known that South Korea is still largely at war with North Korea. Government officials in South Korea don’t like the idea that anyone in North Korea can pull them up using Google Earth and have an up-close look at military operations and such. However, there is a lot to the argument that if Google Earth has been able to obtain this information, than North Korea probably had it long ago.

With its ability to do so very much, and yet make it completely customizable to the user, it’s truly amazing how unique and innovative Google Earth is! Add to that the fact that it’s currently free and the software becomes that much more incredible!

Google Sky


Google Earth.

 How Google Earth works Part II.