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.

First post

Welcome to Ogle Earth. This microblog is going to serve as a record of my explorations using the holy grail of atlases, Google Earth. Ogle Earth will contain links to tutorials, links to interesting new layers and markers, and my own contributions as well. I will also be musing on new uses Google Earth might be put to, and chronicle innovative contributions as they happen.

In other words, this blog exists to disseminate what I learn about and with Google Earth.

The design of this blog is currently the plain vanilla Movable Type look. That will change, but I’m just now more interested in getting going with entries than with tweaking CSS.

For starters, here are my initial impressions of Google Earth.

You can find Google Earth as a free download here. (The Mac version is in the works.)

Notes on the political, social and scientific impact of networked digital maps and geospatial imagery, with a special focus on Google Earth.