Google Earth makes its Debut

By Tom Gromak, The Detroit News

Hardly a week goes by, it seems, when the folks at Google aren’t kicking out some nifty or seriously useful new service or digital gadget. This week: It’s Google Earth. It’s essentially an easy-to-navigate local interface for the Google Maps 3-D satellite imagery already available on the Web. But Google Earth — a revamped freeware version of the company’s old Keyhole software — offers so much more. Type your address (or whatever you want to see) into the search box to zoom from outer space into your city or neighborhood, then go to the “layers” box in the application’s left-hand rail, and you can overlay all sorts of useful information: Road names, restaurants, parks, schools, churches, airports, railroads — you get the idea. Instead of overlaying on an ordinary map, however, this information overlays on satellite-created digital images of Earth’s surface.

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