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October 30th, 2004 Comments Off

Stuff this cool should be illegal. Seriously, I thought only the military had access to satellite maps this good. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, get yourself over to [Keyhole.com](http://keyhole.com) and sign up for the 7-day trial.

My housemates and I spent at least a good hour bouncing around the globe checking out various landmarks such as the [Eiffel Tower](http://uwmike.com/photos/keyhole/keyhole_eiffel.jpg), [Statue of Liberty](http://uwmike.com/photos/keyhole/keyhole_liberty.jpg), and [Washington Monument](http://uwmike.com/photos/keyhole/keyhole_washington.jpg). It seems that some areas are censored out, such as the [US Capitol](http://uwmike.com/photos/keyhole/keyhole_capitol.jpg), however the [Pentagon](http://uwmike.com/photos/keyhole/keyhole_pentagon.jpg) is shown in stunning detail, as is my [neighbourhood back home](http://uwmike.com/photos/keyhole/keyhole_myhouse.jpg).

Unfortunately the town of Waterloo is considered ‘Rural Area’, so the images of campus are considerably less impressive. I was also disappointed to not see some international sights such as the Pyramids and the Palm in Dubai. In spite of these, it’s an absolutely stunning job they’ve done of compiling data from different mapping projects into a single globe like this. It’s my understanding that similar projects have been undertaken before, but never with this slick a result.

It’s hard to even describe, but it gives you such an incredible feeling of the enormity of the Earth when you’re able to zoom from street level to viewing the whole thing in just a few mouse movements.

This sort of thing has incredible potential as a teaching tool. I was embarassed with myself that I wasn’t able to locate the Eiffel Tower without cheating (looking up the co-ordinates). However, experience playing [Scotland Yard](http://www.ravensburger.com/rag/com/uk/produkte/db/spiele.html?R26117) gave me a significant advantage navigating around London and identifying a few of the buildings between Hyde Park and the Thames.

I don’t know what these people would charge a school board for a site license, but it would be criminal to not at least consider it. This thing has implementations extending far beyond geography. History, Geometry, Languages, Literature, anyone?



  1. I like Keyhole (for some reason I missed the fact that they have non-US sites covered) but I was amazed by the .25 meter resolution you can get in urban areas with [Topofusion](http://dan.hersam.com/archives/2005/03/30/topofusion)

    Posted at 7:27 pm on April 5th by dan.

  2. Blast. I should have read the commenting rules before posting.

    *(ed: fixed)*

    Posted at 7:27 pm on April 5th by dan.

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