Google Earth impacts science

Aug 01, 2006

The world's scientists are increasingly using Google Earth's digital globe, which has also attracted millions of non-scientists around the world.

Although Google Earth wasn't intended for scientific work -- merely as an entertainment feature -- the Google search engine's extraordinary globe has become useful for such widely differing functions as tracking diminishing ice sheets, locating crime scenes and monitoring volcanoes, Der Spiegel reported Tuesday.

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S. mainland, Google Earth added 8,000 post-disaster aerial photographs of flooded areas, helping disaster workers locate passable roads and other data, the newspaper said.

The free Google Earth basic program consists of hundreds of thousands of satellite and aerial photos that are updated periodically. The increasing popular program allows users to view their homes or any other area of interest around the world in a matter of seconds.

Google Earth's popularity among ordinary users is influencing the entire scientific community. "Google Earth offers globally available data in a very straightforward manner," Klaus Greve of the Geographic Institute at the University of Bonn told Der Spiegel. "It's also very appealing to researchers who were previously intimidated by (geo-information systems) software."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: How music listening programmes can be easily fooled

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google Earth dives into oceans and WW II

Feb 05, 2010

Google Earth mapping service is letting people use the Internet to dive into the world's oceans or see the ruin that World War II bombings rained on European cities.

Walk through buildings from your own device

Oct 29, 2014

Would you like to visit The Frick Collection art museum in New York City but can't find the time? No problem. You can take a 3-D virtual tour that will make you feel like you are there, thanks to Yasutaka ...

Native vegetation makes a comeback on Santa Cruz Island

Sep 17, 2014

On islands, imported plants and animals can spell ecological disaster. The Aleutians, the Galápagos, the Falklands, Hawaii, and countless other archipelagoes have seen species such as rats, goats, brown ...

Google street view—tool for recording earthquake damage

Oct 30, 2013

A scientist from Cologne University has used Google's online street view scans to document the damage caused by the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake and suggests that the database would be a useful tool for surveying ...

Recommended for you

How music listening programmes can be easily fooled

23 hours ago

For well over two decades, researchers have sought to build music listening software that can address the deluge of music growing faster than our Spotify-spoilt appetites. From software that can tell you ...

Nature journal to begin offering double-blind peer review

Feb 23, 2015

Well known and respected journal, Nature, will begin next month offering researchers who submit their work for peer review, the option of having it done via the double-blind method—whereby both submitters and re ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.