Google Earth is now 15

Picture by special arrangement.

Picture by special arrangement.  

Google’s 3D virtual globe Google Earth that has been showing incredible images of various places on the planet at just a click turned 15 on Friday.

From the zoomed out view of the blue planet, to the details of canal system in Venice, the virtual earth has blended aerial photography, satellite imagery, 3D topography, geographic data, and local area view on a canvast for people to explore.

“We’ve always said that if Google Maps is about finding your way, Google Earth is about getting lost,” Rebecca Moore, Director, Google Earth, Earth Engine & Outreach, said in a blog post.

When it was launched in 2005, Google Earth was used in rescue efforts, relief work, and in generally understanding the impact of Hurricane Katrina. The team at Google Earth worked with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and updated images for first responders, the company said.

Virtual view of the Morioka Station in Google Earth. Picture by special arrangement.

Virtual view of the Morioka Station in Google Earth. Picture by special arrangement.  


In 2008, German and Czech researchers, with the help of Google Earth, observed 8,510 domestic cattle across six continents, and found certain species of cattle and deer align themselves to the magnetic poles while resting or grazing.

Google Earth’s most fascinating use cases was the reuinion of a mother and son after a 25-year gap. In 2011, Saroo Brierley reunited with his biological mother. Using satellite imagery in Google Earth, Saroo found his mother in India. He was accidentally separated from her when he was just five years old. His curiousity to know his roots, led him back home to India from his home country Australia.

Save the Elephants and its partner organisations have been using Google Earth to track elephants with satellite collars for over a decade now. They are tracked to save them from being poached across the conservancy and privately owned rangelands in Kenya.

About 7.5 lakh students across India are said to be benefited from the India Literacy Project (ILP), which uses Google Earth to build interactive content for rural classrooms.

“ILP has made history and geography come alive with new tools and media content that capture the imagination of young minds,” Google said in a statement.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, to help homesick natives in Japan, a group developed a tour in Google Earth to let people virtually take a bullet train ride to Morioka city station and visit different locations in the city.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 8:22:42 PM |

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