Walt Mossberg reviews Google Earth

Walt Mossberg reviews Google Earth in his weekly Wall Street Journal column. He basically sees the the application as amazing eye candy, but not much more:

… there are times when even a hardened skeptic has to admit to amazement and delight at the sheer coolness of some of the things you can do on a personal computer today.

…The trouble is, I’m not sure how practical Google Earth is for most people.

Walt misses the most impressive aspect of Google Earth — its ability to let anyone publish dynamically updating content to it. This makes Google Earth far more powerful than it currently looks in its naked newborn state.

But Walt does make an (unintentional) point. Before GE can realize its promise he would need to master new file formats, a new way of visualizing information, and familiarity with a completely new browsing application. This means a learning curve. Flattening it is the job of this blog.