Thursday, November 18, 2004

New satellite images and programs

In case you didn't hear about it, Google recently aquired satellite imagery provider Keyhole. For most of us the really interesting news is that Keyhole/Google have just released a new software application to access Keyhole's large database of satellite images. The program, called Keyhole LT 2 enables the user to zoom in from space and even down to the level of seeing your own house! Although the ability to see your own backyard from space is restricted to major cities, mainly in the USA. There is a free trial of the software which provides 7 days access to the database, after that it costs US$29.95/year.

A free alternative which provides almost identical functionality is WorldWind from NASA. The Worldwind browser links to a range of satellite imagery and delivers it to your desktop - for FREE! The only potential issue for many people will be that the Worldwind download is >100 Mb, which will limit its use to people with high speed internet access. Another useful feature is that its possible to also download some of the high resolution data directly to your computer (including Mount St Helens!) to bypass any download bottlenecks.

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