Google Earth is a brilliant piece of technology that has been used in a number of intriguing ways. And it’s now being used to discover crimes taking place. Remember kids, if you’re doing something illegal outside in the open, Google could have you on camera.
Initially, as Google’s free mapping programs, Google Earth gives you the world at your fingertips, turning your computer into a virtual globe. Regularly updated satellite imagery allows you to fly over areas before zooming in to a few hundred meters above ground level. With Street View also now added to the mix, you can even see things happening at ground level. You are able to search for a location, zoom in on aerial images and then layer driving directions on top of the 3-D map. Another Google Earth option will let a user animate those driving directions in order to take a skyward tour of a trip. Google Earth will access Keyholes expanded database of aerial and satellite images.
However, according to the newspapers, Swiss police have turned to Google Earth in order to help solve crimes, and they discovered one taking place right under their noses.
The police were investigating a suspected drugs ring, and using Google Earth to locate the addresses of two farmers thought to be involved. Whilst doing so, they discovered a large marijuana plantation measuring almost two acres. That amount of weed would require one hell of a big spliff.
The head of Zurich police’s specialist narcotics unit said, “It was an interesting chance discovery.” Indeed it was, but it was one that contributed to the arrest of 16 people and the seizing of 1.2 tons of cannabis.
It’s easy to tell that Google Earth is getting more and more advanced and it’s getting dangerously closer and closer to looking like actual Earth: touted new features are kind of humorous. While version 4 brought the sky, and version 5 brought the oceans, now version 6 is bringing trees. Yes, trees. I fully expect version 7 to highlight the addition of dirt.
Kidding aside, the latest version is obviously the best one yet. And trees are obviously a hugely important part of the earth. To get them into Google Earth, the search giant has made 3D models of over 50 different species of trees. And they’ve included over 80 million of them in various places around the world including Athens, Berlin, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, and Tokyo. They’re also working with some conservation organizations to model threatened forests around the world.
The other big addition to this latest version of Google Earth is Integrated Street View. To be clear, Google has had a form of Street View in Google Earth since 2008, but now it’s fully a part of the experience. This means that you can go all the way from space, right down to Street View seamlessly. That’s because Google has included their Street View mascot/button, Pegman, in the main navigation controls now. Just like in Google Maps, you just pick him up and drop him anywhere highlighted in blue, and you’ll be taken to the detailed Street View.
And you can now fully navigate the earth using Street View in Google Earth. Simply use your keyboard or mouse to move around.
The database now includes terrain data from such sources as NASA and covers more locations on the globe, including more rural and wilderness areas that are missing in Keyholes current release. Google Earth also raises the bar in terms of the resolution of its imagery. Resolution has increased across the board, and more areas, such as major European cities, will be viewable in the highest resolution.
Google Earth 6 also makes it easier to discover and explore historical imagery. This feature was added in version 5, but it wasn’t easy to find. Now you’ll be able to see when it’s available right at the bottom of the screen.
More about Google Earth :
Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, the ocean and even galaxies in outer space. Explore rich geographical content, save your toured places and share with others.
Designed specifically for business, users, Google Earth Pro and Google Earth Enterprise power companies large and small to make location-aware decisions.
Google Earth Pro
Google Earth Pro has additional tools and datasets specifically for businesses and government employees to make smarter, faster decisions.
• New! 3D Measurements of heights, areas and viewsheds
• Parcel, traffic and demographic datasets styled
• Built-in tools for viewing GIS data and high-resolution printing
• Data import functionality for vector and imagery datasets
• Full Enterprise License Agreement and email support
• Area and radius measurement tools for quick, on the fly calculations of the earth
Google Earth Enterprise
Google Earth Enterprise takes the same powerful tools that help build Google Earth and places them inside your organization to process imagery, terrain and vector data.
• Create a custom Google Earth globe with proprietary data
• Completely secure and system can reside in a DMZ
• Make novices feel like GIS experts
• Suited for complex geospatial datasets or gigabtes of imagery
Its a globe that sits inside your PC. You point and zoom to anyplace on the planet that you want to explore. Satellite images and local facts zoom into view. Tap into Google search to show local points of interest and facts. Zoom to a specific address to check out an apartment or hotel. View driving directions and even fly along your route. Google Earth is free for personal use at globalshareware