You’ve seen those satellite images which seem to zoom from the sky to a building on a street.
With Google Earth and your Mac you can zoon in to a photo of your driveway or roof.
The internet is loaded with free applications. Some, like browsers and email, are used regularly; even necessities for modern computer life.
Google Earth is a Mac and Windows application that lets you view the earth from a satellite, then zoom in.
We’re talking major league zoom, too. Google Earth is as much fun as you’ll ever have on your Mac. Maybe.
For Mac users, Google Earth starts off with a huge satellite view of the earh, in my case a shot of North America.
This is a complex application with a lot of difficult processing going on behind the scenes. Google phones home, too, though I don’t know why. Yet.
Clicking on the earth view pops up the Mac movement hand which lets you rotate the earth view.
The slider bar on the right allows you to zoom in.
Did I say it was fun? It’s easy, too. Pan left or right, tilt up or down, zoom in, zoom out.
The deep zoom in is what’s fun. For example, I did a zoom in on St. Louis to find Jack and Carol’s place.
Finding Missouri and St. Louis was easy. Then I double-clicked on St. Louis. That started a slow, steady and automatic zoom.
Stopping is easy. Just click. As Google Earth zooms in, cities and suburb names appear on screen.
The whole screen moves in and out and sideways in a smooth way, though that’ll probably depend on how much power your Mac enjoys.
Or, rather, how much you enjoy your Mac’s power.
Jack and Carol live near a golf course in Country Club Hills, near St. Louis. Finding it without an address was easy. I just scrolled around until the city name popped up.
Looks as though no one is watering the golf course. From a miles in the sky the greens look a little pale.
I didn’t find their house, but if I lived there I would be able to find my own house.
The photos in Google Earth appear to be from the fall or spring, as there were not many tree leaves (which would cover some locations).
The photo quality is not sufficient to identify a specific model car, or tell who’s sitting on the picnic bench out back, but it is stunning.
Adding a city or address to the search box allows Google Earth to move from your current location to the one you entered.
That whole effect is ultra cool; smooth and simple. I zoomed in to Ron’s place in Hawaii.
It’s not as close to the beach as I thought.
The little blobs on the beach must be sunbathers. Or bodies that washed ashore.
Google Earth lets you save certain locations and zoom settings.
Preferences are straightfoward, allowing for higher resolution images, true color vs. high color, elevation in feet and miles instead of meters and kilometers.
It’s just cool. This is extraordinary technology that won’t intimidate you and take hours to figure out.
The whole thing is just Google simple.
This may be the kind of application that makes you think about getting a new Mac.
Older Macs may have trouble with smooth zooms and panning, but even on an early model G5 iMac, it worked very well.
Prepare to have some fun. For Google details on the download, Click Here.