Google punches earth sized hole in the browser

the Earth in the palm of your hand?

Earlier this week I thought I should write something about Google adding underwater environments to its Google Earth program on Monday.

While that will no doubt be cooler than a bucket of cucumbers, I was pretty surprised when I typed “embed Google Earth” instead of “embed Google Maps” and found out that you could in fact embed Google Earth* into web pages.

When I loaded Hello, Earth, I realized how deftly Google has moved.

Web browsers are our portal to the information we want: news, travel, shopping, video and other media are all just a quick search. It is a limited environment however. Sure, you can click, pull and drag windows around, but the lack of a 3rd dimension removes immediacy and I suspect renders the online experience kind of boring to people who aren’t accustomed to getting entertainment from non-moving 2D environments like books. Add that 3rd dimension, however, and I suspect that the content that many of us find so enriching will explode into the lives of many more.

Snapshot: You click the map portal on a site – let’s say Absolute Michigan. You’re going to spend a weekend in wine country, touring the Leelanau Peninsula and you spin the globe to check it out. You can tap the winery icons to read about their tasting rooms and wines, scroll through photos and video and even make reservations for dinner or lodging, all while cruising through a 3D map that makes it easy to see beaches and trails and all kinds of fun stuff that you would miss if reading it.

Can you see it? OK, now add social networking in…

To install the Google Earth plugin, just click the Hello, Earth link above

*OK, so you’ve been able to access Google Earth in Windows for a while. #1 I didn’t know and #2 I don’t consider things real until they’re cross system.

3 thoughts on “Google punches earth sized hole in the browser

  1. Scott says:

    Google Earth is very, very cool. An idea I had for Scenesfromthepast.com was to build a shipwreck map of the Great Lakes by attaching pictures from my archive to spots on the map where ships wrecked. (I’m still working on metadata of 60K+ images, so this won’t happen for some time, but the longer I keep putting it off, the better the technology keeps getting!).

  2. farlane says:

    That would be very cool. We have a lot of shipwrecks mapped on our Absolute Michigan map!

  3. Scott says:

    Andrew! How cool is that?! Thanks for sharing the Absolute Michigan Google Map with me. I saved it in my favs. I love this stuff!

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