John Legelis Looking Outwards 1

Topic: Some Technological Art or Design that has Inspired You

Google Earth is one of the most powerful tools made possible by modern technology and with the internet has been made accessible to all. In order to complete this process an enormous amount of data needed to be processed and organized which required a team of nearly 500 people to implement at the scale it functions today. Because Google Earth is a relatively small part of the enormous Google enterprise, the organizational structure for this project was corporate and hierarchical. The Google Earth project was the first of its kind/scale and required novel software ideas to implement effectively. The idea for this project likely developed as an extension of one of the oldest visual data systems, physical maps. Google Earth is the current state of the art in cartography especially when it comes to coverage, as nearly nowhere is left unmapped. This project has been the foundation for many offshoots such as 3D photo spheres, street view, virtual reality voyages, and artists who use the natural beauty of the earth captured by satellites as part of their work.

Google Earth: Representation of the globe viewed from the north pole

I admire this project because it is a wonderfully useful and powerful tool that capitalizes on opportunities only made possible with computers. I admire Google Earth because it is an example of a seamless transfer from paper maps to technology without a barrier of entry and it creates the epitome of what maps can be.

Video demonstrating Google Earth being used in conjunction with virtual reality


Written by: JJ Legelis

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