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Eyes glued to two screens

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Chris Russell | 13:52 UK time, Wednesday, 12 July 2006

I'm sitting in the office today with one eye on the live TV coverage of the Tour, one eye on the work I'm trying to do and a third eye attempting to look at Google Earth. My jaw is slowly dropping onto the desk as a result.

A while ago I talked about the amazing route guide that has been done for the Earth application. As soon as the race starts the author added in a live feature which tracks the riders along the road.

Today, as the first mountain stage begins, it's really coming into its own as riders are attacking and being dropped off the back of the bunch and of course the terrain is more interesting.

It really puts into perspective our text updates and even the official Tour site's tried and trusted method of tracking race progress - an animated graphic.

So what does this mean for the future of live sport? As technology improves will be able to follow every rider. Every car in a Grand Prix or rally? Every one of the thousands who run the London Marathon? I hope so....

And then what about football? We've been looking back at our live Virtual Replays during the World Cup and wondering whether we'll one day be able to track this for every player. And then whether the rights for this will be sold like TV and radio rights.

It's all fascinating stuff - almost as interesting as the race itself. I'm getting my fill at my desk today because tomorrow I won't see the race, on TV at least. Us editors are all at a post-World Cup awayday where we'll take a brief look back at the World Cup - and then a bigger look forward to where we go next.

The timing is atrocious, clashing with the first mountain top finish of this year's Tour, but it should be an interesting day. I might even take along my laptop with Google Earth installed and keep one eye on it. Otherwise it will be for me.

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