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i'm going to send him to outer space, find another space
webslinky: google earth, mars and beyond
This week, the skyís not the limit.

If I had a satellite I'd probably use it to rain laser fire upon my enemies. Luckily, Google use one for a nicer purpose Ė piecing together their snooty application, Google Earth. If you have broadband you really don't have any excuse not to download this programme (thereís even a version for those minimalist Mac users now). The application stitches together hundreds of satellite photographs to create a seamless globe for you to nose around from a birds-eye view. Find your house! Search for where you went on holiday! Look for Area 51! Erm...

At this point you may be at a loss for what to do next. That's where the unofficial Google Earth Blog comes in. Itís updated with scary frequency, listing all the weird and wonderful things found by fans of the application. You can download patches that add markers to your version of Google Earth to help you find anything from world landmarks and the houses of the rich and famous, to rumoured secret military vehicles and meteor craters. The Google Earth Hacks Forum is another good place for interesting findings.

If youíre unable to download the application, you could browse Google Satellite Maps. The unofficial site displays some of the sights of Google Earth on standard web pages, minus the thrill of spinning the globe around and zooming in for yourself.

Google Mars was announced earlier this month. Itís currently just a flat map and not nearly as much fun as this brilliant Mars Add-on which was created by a user, but the all-singing all-dancing official add-on (made in conjunction with NASA) is planned for the near future. Slowly dominating the entire universe, thereís also Google Moon. Itís not exactly thrilling, but worth a look if only for the chance to zoom in as close as you can to discover what the moonís really made of. Try it. And remember to have some crackers handy.

Jody Smith 30 March 06
Read members' comments related to this column.
DigiLondon post 2
comment by rowan    Jun 13, 2006
Oh hey, that's quite nice, thanks.
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DigiLondon post 1
comment by Lee Rickler    Jun 12, 2006
You might be interested to know of a London specific Google maps and Google Earth site at
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