Lately there has been a boom on websites offering satellite images of Earth, with the most popular one being Google Earth. With this Google feature it is possible to visit cities and look at some of their historical or famous buildings in 3D. So, for instance, you can go to Paris, and view the Eiffel Tower from the air as if you were in a helicopter. Pretty cool, huh? Google also offers Google Maps, which is much simpler than Google Earth. With this tool you can find an address on a map, but then you can also see a hybrid map that will show the address that you were looking for posted on a satellite map, giving you a better idea of how the area you are going to travel looks like.
NASA also offers a similar software with satellite images of Earth. It is called NASA World Wind and if you love topography this is a great resource for you. It has images not only of our planet but also of the Moon and Mars. Microsoft did not want to be left behind and put out its product Virtual Earth. With Virtual Earth you can see maps and 2Dand 3D pictures of cities and their buildings.
Unfortunately, to take advantage of these different software programs you have to download them to your computer. But hey, if you don’t want to do that, you can always come to the Austin Public Library where we have Google Earth installed on our computers.
You can visit and get more information about the programs listed above by visiting the following links: