I'm going to have to join Google Earth Anonymous. I am seriously hooked on the program.
Have you seen this? The screen starts out with a beautiful floating-above-the-rotating-planet graphic while you're mentally singing the "Star Trek" theme (the new score, not the old cheesy one). Then you type in a destination. Anywhere. I mean ANYWHERE.
How about Paris? Like some supersonic space shuttle, you zoom toward the Earth, getting closer and closer, while the resolution clears. Oh my gosh. There's the Champs d'Elysees . And the Eiffel Tower. And Notre Dame. Type in a street address, and you can get even closer.
Ever wonder what New Zealand looks like from the air? Type it in. Zoom on over. Ooh. Ahh. It's all there–snow-capped peaks, lush valleys, even the reefs, visible beneath the azure water.
Going to Costa Rica for a vacation? Type in your hotel address. Just how close is it REALLY to the beach? Are there shops nearby? How far is it from the airport?
Okay, now type in your home address. Zoom. Are the hairs starting to stand up on the back of your neck? I focused in on mine, and you can see the torn-up backyard from two years ago when we were building an addition. The pickup is parked in front, and there's drywall in the driveway. Wow, you suddenly realize, we're all under surveillance.
Worse, we're all Big Brother. Now you're eager to spy on more questionable stuff, aren't you? Go to Guantanamo Bay. Area 51. What's left of the World Trade Center. Baghdad. It's strange to see Baghdad. The neighborhoods look, well, pretty much like mine.
There's even a site for Google Earth geeks who make curious discoveries, like mysterious concentric circles in Malta, a hovering car in Australia, and a weird scale model of Indian terrain found in China.
It's easy to get sucked in, staying up for hours, traveling over the planet like some modern day Magellan. If you haven't tried it, you must. But if you get hooked, don't say I didn't warn you.
Sarah McKerrigan... Stories to keep you up all night! LADY DANGER Riding to the rescue April 2006 CAPTIVE HEART Coming for you October 2006