Stephenson's Earth.

I swear I could run a weekly blog that was just a once-a-week update on which invention Stephenson suggested over a decade ago in Snowcrash that is now hitting the market.

This time around that project is the ambitious "Earth" he suggested as the world's most powerful navigational tool.

It's progeny is the Google Earth project.

I cannot convey how kickass this is to a traveler. The free version includes the ability to create and organize "placemarks". For fun, I mapped an 88 placemark tour of my entire trip to Europe. I marked every city, found many of the hostels and hotels we used, and was able to mark almost every landmark in the major cities like Sevilla and Paris. Now hitting the "play" button takes the viewer on one long unterrupted camera shot from the Atlanta airport to London, around London, and then across the European continent.

The inclusion of road maps, terrain data and even building data in 38 major US and Canadian cities makes this more than just a globe with Sattalite photos pasted to it.

This is one very, very cool toy.

Be careful though, or you'll find yourself spending hours just playing around with it. Doing things like placemarking all the campuses where you've taken classes, or finding your grandparents' houses.

Later on, maybe I'll try and upload a copy of my placemarks list for fun.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


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