earth.google.com zeros in on Clarence backyards
By ADRIAN MILLER
HAVE you ever wondered what your town looks like from space?
Or are there tourist attractions around the world you've never been to, but have been itching to see?
Or maybe you are planning a holiday soon and would like to see what your chosen destination really looks like.
Well now you can, Big Brother style.
Google, the world's most popular internet search engine, has recently launched a satellite navigation and imagery program with detail so precise you can see children playing at your local oval.
Google Earth brings satellite imagery to your personal computer.
Available as a free download from website earth.google.com, the program means every town in the world is able to be viewed from space. But not only that, you can rotate and tilt the images so you can also view the streets as though you are walking along them.
The images are made up of a mixture of satellite and aerial photography taken within the last three years.
Although every area in the world is covered, images are added constantly, which means some possess more detail than others.
Towns throughout the Clarence Valley show up with amazing clarity, with the number of boats in the Yamba marina and cars in Grafton's Prince Street, easily counted.
Even your own house is a breeze to find, with streets, railway lines, median strips and roundabouts showing up clearly and becoming effective signs when trying to locate objects.
The program's simplicity is also one of its benefits.
Once loaded, all it takes is a few clicks of the mouse to find what you are looking for.
Or type in two addresses, and you will be given driving directions and the route charted for you on the map.
Designed as a navigational aid, the program is so precise it will locate restaurants along any given street in major cities throughout the US, UK and Western Europe. But sadly, it doesn't have the power to find Osama ... yet.