Monday, July 09, 2007

The Inner Workings of Google Earth

There are three overarching fields of geography. They are human, physical, and technical. Technical is the newest field of geography and has found applications not only in the academic and public sectors but also in the private sector. The private sector's application of choice is GIS and the company which has dominated the field was ESRI.

There is a change going on in technical field. Google Earth is quickly becoming a key player in technical geography circles. Much more than a way to see your house, Google Earth allows users to import data and see spatial information displayed on the earth. With upgrades one can even import GIS data. The thing which differs Google Earth from the rest of the field; however, is its ease of use and accessibility.

Two good articles on the inner workings of Google Earth are out. The first one, How Google Earth [Really] Works, discusses the computer science behind Google Earth. The second article, Google’s Geospatial Organizing Principle (PDF), goes into the philosophy which motivates Google. (Hat tip: Google Earth Blog [1][2])

Even though Catholicgauze has had its qualms with Google and its practices with China, I still wish it success in the world of neogeography. More and more people will be involved with technical geography, many without knowing it, as the technology advances. May Google Earth be a tool to truly educate the people about the geography of the world.

1 comment:

Adrian said...

Did you catch the Chinese ballistic missile sub on Google Earth?