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Google Earth Visits El Prado


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.

January 14, 2009 10:25 pm

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