Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Google Maps > Google Earth

Google just announced this week that Google Earth views are now available within Google Maps. Here's their own video description:

Once you get to the location you want using Google Maps, it's a simple matter of clicking on the "Earth" button to gain the advantage of the 3D imaging available. (You may be prompted to install the Google Earth plugin if you don't already have it.) If you are already familiar with Google Earth, all the navigation will be familiar to you including the shortcuts for tilting and rotating. 
What's the advantage of having this new view available? 
  • The dimensionality of Earth views can give you a better sense of a place.
  • The integration of map, satellite, and earth views allows for fast and easy switching so that one can become more familiar with a place. (Also note that terrain view is still available under the More dropdown.)
  • The earth view also includes 3D models that have been created. (In fact, I don't see how you can turn off the 3D models.) Some of these have actual photographic 'skins' wrapped around the objects. Take a look at some of these examples I made. (You can click on the link to go to Google Maps yourself.)
    Here is Athens >
  •  Here is Ephesus with models of the theater and the Library of Celsus.
  •  Using tilt and zoom, you can even stand at the threshold of the Ephesian theater and relive Acts 19:29-40!
  • Also note under the More dropdown that you have access to links to Wikipedia references, photos from Panoramio, YouTube videos taken on location, and even live webcams where available.
There are still some extra things you can do in Google Earth (e.g., have indices of biblical sites [like this or this] or create tours [

BTW, one thing that Google Earth does not yet do is provide relief maps. To get that, either use the free Bible Mapper program or use the fine maps-for-free site. Here's an example of a relief map. Can you figure out what biblical region it's depicting?
˙pǝʇɐɔol ǝɹǝʍ uoıʇɐlǝʌǝɹ ɟo sǝɥɔɹnɥɔ ㄥ ǝɥʇ ǝɹǝɥʍ ʎǝʞɹnʇ uɹǝʇsǝʍ

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