The Cutting Edge Tech Blog


Google Earth by FSherratt

GOOGLE EARTH January 30 2009

Google Earth is a mapping program created by google. It has been around since 2005. It is free as all of google software is or you can buy a yearly subscription to google earth pro for a mere $400.

The Google Earth Logo

The main reason why google earth is such a successful program is the fact that it isn’t just computer generated images. The whole map has been photographed by satellite and apart from the odd light or season change the whole map is a seamless picture. Occasionally the map isn’t very detailed but around all the major cities and town the detail is phenomenal. It even has 3D building in well know areas such as, canary wharf and the london eye and even the O2 arena. Apart from the long loading time when your in Photo Realistic Mode these are very useful for getting a idea of the scale of things.

 
A Mountain in Google Earth showing time difference between some images.

As well as amazing maps Google Earth also has a map of the Solar System. In this you can look at the moon as well as the rest of the solar system. This makes it a very useful planetarium for all you budding budget astronomers out there.

But, my favorite feature by far in google earth is the inbuilt Flight Simulator. This feature (because its google) has to be unlocked by pressing Ctrl + Alt + A ( + Option + A on the Mac). The rest of the controls are on this link Google Help Site but here are some of them to get you started.

Increase Thrust Page Up
Decrease Thrust Page Down

Aileron left Left Arrow
Aileron right Right Arrow
Elevator push Up Arrow
Elevator pull Down Arrow

Extend/retract landing gear G

Left wheel brake ,
Right wheel brake .

Its fairly tricky but with a couple of hours practice it comes more naturally. It is of course a lot easier with a joystick which amazingly are compatible. The only extremely hard thing is landing the plane but there are instruction on their help site. If you’ve haven’t already and want to download google earth Click Here

So thats Google Earth. If you enjoyed reading this or have something to say why not add a comment.

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