Google Earth – Is ‘Real Skydiving Better’?

The foundations of Google Earth aose from one man with a mission – to replace many maps with a singular one that pinpoints several locations within one area.

Keyhole, a company partially-funded by the CIA, ran with his idea to develop the technology further. In October of 2004 Keyhole was purchased by Google for an undisclosed amount. Larry and Serge moved the team to Building 45 at Google’s HQ in Cupertino and dubbed the genesis of Google’s new project Google Earth.

I was amazed to discover how Google Earth obtains data. From what I gather, initial topographical information is gathered by satellites. To flesh out the satellite information, Google Earth depends on locals to submit “layers” containing detailed info about city or neighborhood’s streets, points of interest, and more. These layers can be turned on or off within the program.

Besides contributing layers, users are taking the mapping to an entirely new level by creating personalized maps detailing items such as favorite restaurants, walking paths, and favorite places to vacation. Sites like Yelp and Socialight overlap personalized maps with social networking – creating a uniquely new experience.

This social collaboration has extended beyond contributing to where we live and what we know. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has collaborated with Google Earth to display visual evidence of the destruction in Darfur.

Learn more about how Google Earth works here:

The Sounds of Silence

Today, thousands of webcasters across the nation shut down in a ‘Day of Silence’ to protest the proposed royalty rate increases slated to take effect July 15.

The proposed fee would require every webcaster to pay per song, per listen, per play, in addition to $500 per month per channel that would irrevocably put sites like Pandora out of business.

Radio stations are encouraging everyone to contact their local congressperson and ask them to support the Internet Radio Equality Act if they have not already.

This act eliminates the minimum fee per channel and charges webcasters the same 7.5% of revenue that satellite radio pays.

Today Save Net Radio has exceeded it’s bandwidth and switchboards in Congressional offices all over Capitol hill are tied up with listeners phoning in on the issue.

Read more and act now: