The Google Earth team is in the news yet again, this time with a reapplication of their powerful satellite imagery technology. If we can get accurate representations of the Earth’s surface, they asked themselves, why not paintings inside museums?
I have always wanted to see Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights in agonizing detail – 14 trillion pixels constitutes agonizing – without having to leave my bed. Thanks to Google Earth, this is now possible.
What about Ancient Rome? Today I would like to stroll around some ruins, take in the Colosseum and, hey, why not, the inside of the Basilica Julia, but I don’t really feel like getting out of bed. Some would think this impossible, but they would be wrong.
I did some basic Wikipedia research on Google Earth which I will summarize here for those who are somewhat interested but not enough to do it on their own.
This satellite-imagery technology started in 2001, when Keyhole, Inc. was founded with the help of, among others, In-Q-Tel, which is a venture-capital branch of the CIA. In 2004, Google swooped down and acquired the most powerful of the Keyhole application suites, Earth Viewer, which, no more than a year later, became Google Earth.
I leave you now with a short video on some of Google Earth’s best-kept secrets. One in particular will make little Adolf Hitler Campbell proud of his namesake.