Google Earth Hacks

If you haven’t already downloaded Google Earth, perhaps you’re better off avoiding it. Although it’s free and incredibly entertaining, it will cause you to lose dozens and dozens of potentially productive hours of your life. The coverage of most of the U.S. is very good, and surprising chunks of the rest of the world have excellent imagery. Pyongyang in North Korea is blurry, but the area of North Korea at north latitude 39 deg 47 min near the Chinese border has breathtaking detail. As luck would have it, there is a nuclear reactor there too. The view of Fallujah in Iraq is similarly impressive.

But just when you think you’ve wasted enough time roaming the world on your own, along comes Google Earth Hacks, in which you find fascinating ways that other folks have added value to Google Earth with pointers, annotations, and overlays. Lots of other people are out there marking up the Earth with things like the stages of the Tour de France. See what those mountain stages really look like. Some places, like Mount Everest or the Bikini Atoll, not only include descriptions but also higher resolution imagery superimposed on Google’s own. In summary, Google Earth plus Google Earth Hacks is just a terrifying vortex of lost time. Pretend I never told you any of this. Now I’ll look at just one more file before I go to bed…

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