01 June 2006

Google Earth is one of the coolest pieces of software that i've seen in quite some time. Having been using for about a year now, i've been able to 'visit' a lot of places that are on my todo list. It can give me a 3D journey through the Grand Canyon, a peek into the forbidden city in Beijing and a top down view of my own backyard.

An debate has been running on the web, questioning the right of privacy of the individual, which can be argued are being violated by Google Earth. This, in my opinion, is of little significance, as the photos are rarely updated (the ones of my back yard are nearly two years old). Governments are instigating the other battle with the program, citing national security as being put at risk by it. The most vocal proponents have been Indian, South Korea and Australia (request later withdrawn). Again, these cases don't worry me too much.

What got me thinking about it though was; if that's the sort of images arganisations such as NASA are willing to offer for viewing by the general public, what are they likely to have privately stored. And what could they see, or zoom into, if they wanted? My colleague jokingly wondering how long it would take to get a call from Bush if he build a dummy rocket launcher on the balcony of our office (maybe we wouldn't even get a call, just a trident missile taking out our office, affirmative action indeed).

Of course, these technologies would be useful in tackling terrorism. And since I'm not trying to grow an opium crop in my back yard, I won't worry about the intrusion too much, and enjoy Google Earth (although I'm still waiting for Swatragh to be featured in high-res).


Anonymous said...


I agree... Google Earth is amazing. I like the feature of saving bookmarks and sending them to people so that they can see where you live.
I have already quite a nice collection all over the world.

(Australia only got concerned about their one absolutely insignificant nuclear reactor which they only use for research purposes. They like to think they are very important to the world even if they are not... let them have their fun!)

Even if I didn't add much value to that Blog, I thought I'd contribute something.