WSJ discovers Google Earth Outreach

Soon, the WSJ will be free. Until then, you will have to click on this backdoor link to read today’s article extolling the virtues of Google Earth Outreach. The occasion is Appalachian Voicesnew feature on its website where you enter a US zip code to see which specific mountains may have had their tops removed to provide you with energy. Here are the tops I helped remove when I lived in DC.

Appalachian Voices has had a default layer on Google Earth for the better part of a year in addition to the full version on their website, so that part isn’t new, and their new feature uses Google Maps only and not Google Earth (at the moment?), but there is more coming just like it, says Rebecca Moore:

Rebecca Moore, manager of the Google Earth Outreach program, calls the Appalachian Voices service “very cutting edge” and says other groups are preparing similar ones. The Earth Outreach program, officially rolled out in June, provides technical advice and training to nonprofits interested in using Google Earth.

And then there is news (to me) of another company leveraging Google Earth as a geobrowser for PR. Dole Foods:

Some companies are using Google Earth in a similar manner to try to connect customers to the places where their food comes from. Dole Food Co., for one, has added a code to the label of organic bananas that consumers can enter at a special Web site. The site provides information about the history and location of the farm where the bananas grew, as well as a link to data that can be viewed in Google Earth. There consumers can zoom in on aerial images of the farm.

Alas, Dole Foods’s website seems to be down at the moment.