Sunday, June 26, 2005

Google maps adds satellite images of the whole world

This is amazing. Google Maps has expanded its internet mapping service to include the satellite images of the whole world. As a user of Keyhole (which is now being renamed to "Google Earth") it does not take very long to see that the satellite data used is the very same. This is no wonder as the Keyhole company was bought by Google a while ago.

Now everybody can visit virtually any place in the world by variably detailed satellite images. Some big cities have very accurate images (check this as an example, centre of Helsinki). The rest of the world is covered in a bit less detail, even in that case the places are clearly recognizable (example of my homeplace at Lieksa, Finland). From Golden Gate -bridge to Vatican City, the images are there for you to explore, free..

The new service does not replace the attractiveness of the Keyhole as a application. The smooth 3d navigation, placemarks, overlays and the overall wow-effect needs still a separate application. Also, the mapping information does not yet cover but the USA and UK, for other countries only the country names and borders are available. For finding your way, the Multimap, map24 or some other available services are much more universal.