April 18th, 2008 | Published in Google.org
Google Earth is a great tool for exploring the world in ways never before possible. Many of the non-profits and other public-benefit organizations that we work with find it especially useful for showing people the remote places where they work and telling their stories in a very compelling way.
Have you ever looked at the amazing high-resolution images in Google Earth and wondered when the photo was taken? Well now you can stop wondering! Google Earth 4.3 was launched this week, and one of the many new features is the "imagery acquisition date."
Simply zoom in on and move your mouse cursor over the high-resolution imagery; the status bar will display the date when the imagery was acquired. This will be especially useful for organizations concerned about changes in the environment.
For anyone interested in learning more about Google Earth, its features, and how to make it useful, Nigel Woof of Map Action has written a great paper (1MB PDF) that you should check out. It looks at Google Earth's differences from and relationship with traditional Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, and how it can be used in humanitarian relief and other public benefit work.