April 5, 2005

The buzz about Google Maps

Nothing like google to keep “kickin’ it up a notch”.

Google maps is a relatively new feature from google and they are adding new features all the time. The most recent one that I like is the addition of satellite images. Taken from the NASA World Wind program, you can get a high resolution image of any place in North America.

Here’s the map image of Epcot Center in Disney World. Click on it to see a larger version.
epcot map

Here’s the same location with the satellite image.

I had some problems getting the World Wind program to work because it requires a fairly robust machine but I did manage to get it running. My wife commented on my infatuation with the program as I managed to zoom into the exact golf hole that I was watching on TV.
I related my childhood love of maps and felt like a kid in a candy store. It’s very cool. There are only limited urban areas that have detailed high resolution photos which was kind of disappointed but it was still very cool.

Trying out google maps now I see better images for Canada. I complained earlier that the Canadian content was weak, but was pleasantly surprised as I pulled up this picture of my neighbourhood. I have a higher res picture on my Flickr site.

moose jaw map

This application has endless possibilities with students. As Steve Dembo said, it makes me want to teach geography!