Google acquired a CIA funded mapping and satellite company in 2004 and released Google Earth less than a year later. Most images that make up Google Earth are 1-3 years old and taken from a variety of public and private satellite imaging systems.
Google Earth imagery is not live and has never been live.
Google offers Google Earth for free to any computer user running Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. Smartphone users can also download a free Google Earth app.
Over the years Google has added many features to Google Earth including:
- Address and GPS coordinate searching
- Street view
- 3D cityscape views
- Higher resolution images for certain sites
- Wikipedia and Panoramio integration
- Flight Simulator
- Google Sky
- Moon and Mars
In today’s class, Chuck shared with us a great web site that shows live tracking of air traffic. It’s called Flight Radar 24. Thanks Chuck.
To download and install Google Earth on your computer, click here. Once installed, you will have a Google Earth icon on your desktop to launch the program.
Here’s a short video giving you a good overview of this wonderful resource: