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One giant leap – for Google…

If you’re a user of “Google Earth” – the application from Google that lets you explore an online, high-resolution map of Earth – you’ve probably used it to explore the surface of Mars, too, and maybe even used it to have a look around the night sky as well. It’s a brilliant, useful and very addictive part of Google’s growing online empire.

Well, today, Google has announced the next stage in the evolution of Google Earth: you can now access, from Google Earth’s planet tab (the one at the top with the little picture of Saturn on it), a high resolution model of the Moon! That would be pretty good in its own right, but that’s not the end of it, oh no. Google has incorporated a lot of Apollo imagery, maps and information in its latest update, which allows you to essentially walk around the Apollo landing sites, following in the footsteps of the astronauts who travelled there between 1969 and 1972.

Here’s what the Apollo 11 landing site looks like when you zoom in on it using the new “Moon” option…

gm2

By using the tilt and pan control you can manipulate the view and explore the landing site from different angles, elevations and viewpoints, like this…

GM3

Not only that, but Google are incorporating into their Moon model realistic 3D terrain maps of the surface AND the images taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. That means you can really wander around the Apollo landing sites like a 22nd century sightseer, and enjoy gorgeous, unashamedly touristy views like this

gm5

Well, thank you VERY much Google. I’ll NEVER get any work done now…! 😉

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2 Responses

  1. Earth has been conquered by Google. Now it’s time for the moon.

  2. I had done all this with Celestia many years ago…

    Check it out 😉

    You can even visit other stars & galaxies!

    Cheers

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