Over 1 million people have used Google Earth to zoom around the world from the comfort of their computers or mobile devices, the company announced, along with a great new infographic.
“How large is one billion?” One billion hours ago modern humans were living in the Stone Age, Brian McClendon, VP of Engineering for Google Earth and Maps said in a blog post. “One billion minutes ago, the Roman Empire was flourishing. If you traveled from Earth to the Moon three times, your journey would measure one billion meters.”
Google has also released a neat infographic that shows off all the neat stuff you can do with Google Earth. It’s called “Around The World In 60 Seconds” and it shows how you what you can do in a minute, from checking out all the the Earth’s forests, to exploring 3D cities, visit landmarks around the world, including the giant Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeir, see how Las Vegas has grown throughout the last 60 years, locate shipwrecks, explore the deep seas, share your trips, and finally explore space. (I wonder how long it will be until we see Google sending out probes to explore the heavens.)
To celebrate this milestone, Google has also launched a new website, “One World, Many Stories,” highlighting the various things that Google Earth users have done with their product, everything from mapping out deforestation to planning out vineyards, to tracking Hurricane Katrina damage.
It’s amazing how Google has put some pretty sophisticated mapping tools in the hands of ordinary people and just let them loose, and even allowed people who knew how to code access to APIs. People have generally been skeptical of Google’s claim to “not be evil” but they’re definitely done a good thing by acquiring Keystone and releasing Google Maps and Google Earth. For more recent Google news we’ve covered, check out our post on the Google Docs and Google Sites redesign and Microsoft tagging Chrome as malware, which we hope was just an honest mistake.