Exploring the earth from your couch

I must admit I have somewhat of an addiction to Google Earth. Especially with all the user input from around the globe. There are literally thousands of eyes scouring the earth for interesting spots or as they are called, placemarks. Resulting in hours of hopping from placemark to placemark. And discovering some of your own (and bothering your friends with them). 🙂

It’s easy to forget that Google Earth wasn’t the first. There are other free tools around. Let’s see:

NASA World Wind

World Wind lets you zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth. Leveraging Landsat satellite imagery and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data, World Wind lets you experience Earth terrain in visually rich 3D, just as if you were really there.

Or if you’re fed up with earth:

Celestia

The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

If you live in The Netherlands you may want to take a look at:

TerraExplorer

De TerraExplorer is een innovatieve uitbreiding van de Internetbrowser die uw PC verandert in een krachtig visualisatiemiddel. Internetbezoekers kunnen zo volledig interactief door fotorealistische, driedimensionale landschappen navigeren, de zogenaamde ‘digitale maquettes’. Met deze gebruikersvriendelijke, gratis ‘plug-in’ TerraExplorer heeft u toegang tot adembenemende visualisaties.

Google Earth :-/

In a totally non-webdev way I’ve let my blog down for a ‘couple o’ days’. Why? That damn Google Earth virus caught me…

Google Earth BetaI advise, anyone with some time on their hands, not to install the damn thing. First there was Google Maps. Before that, Google acquired Keyhole. Now they give you this piece of crap that let’s you zoom into ANY part of the world and, if you want, whirl around it. 🙁 (For the 7th time this day, is it drawback or plain nausea?)

Alternatives:

For the junkies: http://www.googleearthhacks.com/