Google Earth 5.0 is Under this World

Google Earth 5.0 has been released with some pretty amazing features added to an already great program.  My favourite – I am an avid diver and water lover – is the new ocean features.  Previous versions of Google Earth did amazing things on the terrestrial side, now the ocean part of our planet is getting some need attention.  You can now plunge in under the water to get a great view of the formations around islands.  Check out the Hawaiian Island chain for a great example. Also they are pulling in data from many other sites to provide a wealth of information about different parts of the ocean.

Another really interesting tool is the ability to see an area in different times. For example you can see the areas around New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina. You can also see urban sprawl happen right before your eyes.

Other thing to check out are the sky and Mars views.

Happy earth viewing.

Google Maps

Google Maps I believe has constantly set the standard for online mapping sites.  I stopped using all the rest simply because they could not keep up.  Thought I would point out some cool new features.

Street Numbers

When looking at streets in a city (works for Ottawa), once you zoom in enough, you will see the starting and ending house numbers for every block.

Bus Stops

You will also see bus stops displayed on the map (again works for Ottawa).  Clicking on an icon brings up route information and departure times.

Leave The Car Behind

Now when getting directions from Google Maps you can select your mode of transportation: car, walking and public transport.  A few tests on the public transport option showed that it even had updated routes based on road closures.  One thing missing would be a bike option.  If your city has a lot of bike paths then this would be very useful.  Currently if you select walking it does not seem to have information about walking or bike paths and instead sends you marching along the roads.