Geobrowsing online dating
Roofers, landscape gardeners and solar-panel installers use the virtual maps to scout for potential customers.Rebecca Moore, a member of the Google Earth team, used the software to galvanise her neighbourhood in the Santa Cruz mountains in opposition to a nearby logging project.
All this has long been imaginable but has become possible only recently, thanks to high-resolution commercial satellite imaging, broadband links and cheap, powerful computers.
mashes Microsoft's Virtual Earth with other data to create maps of home prices in America. At gasbuddy.com, visitors can map local petrol prices to plan fill-ups.
Explore Our brings together thousands of sources of images and data to let users investigate climate change.
Tax inspectors in Buenos Aires are using it to see whether people are correctly reporting the size of their properties.
An Italian programmer who was using the software noticed odd markings on the ground near his home town which turned out to be a previously unknown Roman villa.
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Google's virtual globe incorporates elevation data that describe surface features such as mountains and valleys.