Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Google Maps Improvements Introduced July 11th

Google released several new features for Google Maps. Here's a quick summary of the new features:
A new cleaner image of the Earth's surface for high level zooms. You don't see the patchwork of different colored satellite and aerial images when viewed as if from space. Once you zoom in to look from airplane height or closer, you will then see the higher resolution satellite/aerial photos.
Improved zoom features you can double click the left mouse button to zoom in, or double click the right mouse button to zoom out. You can also use the mouse-wheel to zoom in and out, or you can also clear any map tags (balloon text) by pressing on the mouse wheel/button.
[Via Google Earth Blog]

Personally, if you like those features, you should just get Google Earth. It's much MUCH better! You can do alot more with it, zooming is smoother & faster, and terrain is rendered in 3d instead of having to view everything in a top down view. If you have kids, you should definately have Google Earth on you computer! Maybe they might learn something while they play. My 8 year old daughter loves it, and can show you where places are on this planet that most adults wouldn't even know. She also really likes NASA's World Wind, but that's mainly because with it you can view Mars, The Moon, Jupiter, & Venus with it. Both Google Earth & NASA World Wind are free software, which I honestly think no kid should be without.

Oh, and Google does a have a page that uses Google Maps to view Mars imagery, Google Mars. Don't forget to try the 3 buttons in the upper right corner for switching between elevation, visible, & infrared. Oh, and also the buttons next to the search box will give you place marks, where you can view landing sites of past probes, or some have links to pages with more info on the NASA site.

And one last one, Google Moon, which, well I'd stick to using NASA World Wind for viewing the moon for now, because there's not much to the Google Moon yet. I think maybe it's a forgotten project, although it would be much better if they did it in the Google Earth software anyway...

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