Google Earth’s a wonderful application. Once beyond the initial novelty of spot-your-own-home, it has some practical uses. For example, I used it last week to pre-fly my flight from Headcorn to Goodwood and identify the exact GIS co-ordinates of the waypoints I planned to use. If you like maps and aerial imagery, let me round up some recent improvements you might have missed.
Earlier this month masses of new high resolution imagery was made available as well as a new version of Google Earth, which is easier to navigate (but also seems to serve up adverts). The imagery is good enough, and the circumstantial evidence strong enough, to confirm that The Turd can be spotted in Queenstown.
Microsoft is playing catch-up with Windows Live Local, and now provides some higher resolution imagery than available on Google Earth – see the Nimrod Farm example below – although the Microsoft data is definitely out-of-date (it seems to come from Getmapping).
If you have a spare few minutes, play spot the difference with these two images of the neighbourhood.
Elsewhere, clever things are being done with Google Earth and its ability to integrate data from different sources. See, for example, overlaying a 1690 map of London (via The Map Room)…
…or introducing 3D models onto the landscape (from Digitally Distributed Environments)…
…and how about showing the Tour de France mountain stages (from the TdF Blog)? That climb looks terrifying.