Sometimes I just can stare at this for hours without some purpose. I love to zoom in some places I didn't even know they existed. You can educate and entertain yourself with this thing!
Google Earth is a web tool that lets you zoom in and out on a 3d map on any location in the world. There are two versions; the free one and the one oriented more towards businesses that costs $399 per user. The paid one allows the user to find distances, place layouts on top of the map, and give the map a better resolution. It is a very simple tool to use in that you start up the application and can either type in the address you want to look at or you can zoom in and rotate the map using the mouse. Uses can include just looking at places that you know or want to visit or could include learning about the moon and the rest of our earth. Positive uses of Google Earth include environmental activists showing negative environmental changes such as mountaintop removal and deforestation. It has also been used by the United Nations to show urbanization in developing cities such as Shenzhen China and a dropping water level in the Aral Sea.
I know it's old news but I REALLY like Google Earth (earth.google.com) Spinning round the globe, zooming in to the country /city / street of my choice from my own computer fantastic, or what?
You can search by name, latitude and longitude, map reference etc., or just by panning and zooming. Planning a hike? Measure the distance on the ground, check the altitudes, see the terrain
What a great way of teaching geography to kids. And, it's free. Marvellous!
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