Google Earth

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Romulan_Fury
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Google Earth

Post by Romulan_Fury »

Who else has seen this new tool by Google? It's called Google Earth, and it takes satellite photos of the entire planet and composits them together to make one big 3d map of the Earth. It's really quite extraordinary, in my opinion. Some areas of the earth havent been photographed of course, so they did the best they could with computer generated stuff as well.

I just wanted to get a feeel for how other people felt about this. Do you think it's cool, imaginative, creepy, or just plain boring? I mean, you can see my house for cryin' out loud! Share what you think.
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Post by Zered003 »

Yes, I have been using that program for about a month now. I think it is a pretty cool program. It takes mapmaking to an all new level. Can't wait to see how good it does get.
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Post by Harrie »

it's cool but kinda creepy. i can get so close to my house i feel like if the sat. had moved just a little to the left you could have seen me.
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Post by Twitch »

There have been other sites and I looked places up before. I think the 1st was probably about 2000. They're all cool though. 8)
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Post by Cylon »

yes its good
i like finging places such as area 51
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Post by odyssey »

Talk about a bad idea... this is REALLY BAD. If anyone can access this technology, what would prevent terrorists from using it to scoop or map out potential targets? :?
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Post by Romulan_Fury »

That's a good point, but if you think about it maps of major areas are already available and you can certainly plan an attack just as well based off of those. Plus, I'm sure that if you were to search online long enough, you'd be able to find the same or similar sarillite photos. Trust me, if terrorists want to do something bad enough, they'll find away. Not that I agree with what they do, I'm just saying if you put your mind to it... I do not like terrorists.
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Post by Zered003 »

I don't see how it would aid any terrorist b/c before they do anything. They ussually send people there to check out the situation. Besides, I looked up my house and the information was wrong. It tried telling me that my house was a block over from where it accually is. I also get the feeling that Google would be able to tell what areas people access. I do like the program. It has many useful possibilities. AND I enjoy the fact that it is FREE.
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Post by odyssey »

Whether this newly released technology is accurated is debateable, but the last thing you would want to do is to provide barely the hint of any new tool to better aid terrorists in their planning. What this program MAY do will make it only easier and more accessible to pick out targets and their structural layout at a click of a mouse (from some mountain hideaway) before they decide whether to sent in ground units to survey it's weaknessess. Sure, they may find these plans from other places on the net or from other outside sources, but do you want to make it easier for them to do so? You can bet that they're certainly aware of this gift from Google now.

When this was pointed out to Google after it was released, their reaction was best summed up in one word... OOPS :oops:

As they say ... the cat's outta the bag... and there is not a dang thing we can do about it. :?
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Post by Zered003 »

The point I am making though is Google Earth is only a new way to look at maps of any place on earth. It is only as good as any collection of maps. Now, under the idea that it would aid any terrorist plan attacks. If you wanted to prevent them from using information on the internet. You would have to remove all maps online. That includes any website that you just type in an address and it give you the directions to get there. Now as with most information that is out there. Most people don't even realize how it can be used for evil until someone makes noise about how it shouldn't be out there b/c it can be used in the wrong way. It is only then that the wrong people find out what they could do with it. and its not just the internet. The media does this all the time. They all do pieces on how to get through airport security and what bomb materials can't be found by accepted search technics. It is truely sickening.

So, back to the subject at hand. Google Earth requires an active broadband connection to work. That means that Google knows who is looking for what information. Just like Yahoo knows who is asking for directions to where. If you search for it online. It is completely available to police or federal agents to track it all. So, while it could be used for evil. It is also set up to be easier to track the information and who accesses it. I think there is more good then bad that comes out of this program.

Guess I will wait to see what everyone else thinks before I say anything else on this subject. I am sure most people here would agree with me. But it is a good debate.
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Post by Romulan_Fury »

Honestly, I think that if the U.S. Government didn't want this to be on the web, then they would certainly find a way to get rid of it. I know there's the whole freedom of expression thing or whatever, but the government has been willing to ignore that before so why not again, especially in the name of 'national security'? I think if there were any problems with it, Google wouldn't have put it up in the first place.

Besides, I don't really see how it could help terrorists all that much. Have you seen any of the major urban areas? Buildings face the wrong way, you can't see the streets clearly, and a lot of the time those pictures are several years out of date. I looked up my college campus only to discover that the building I have class in every day doesn't exsist according to Google Earth.
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Post by Zered003 »

Thank you for backing up my point. It is only as good as the information it has available. And maps are never 100% accurate.
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Post by odyssey »

Inaccurate it may be now, but you'll never know how this mapping technology will eventually evolve down the road. Like all techs, there will be refinements and improvements that in time will increase it's accuracy. There also the fact that there is no way the US goverment can censor and decide which image is deem to sensitive or a security risk that can be release by the US Geological survey - who's satellites that maps the surface of the planet - to anyone that requests it. Are nuclear power plants targets or a large shopping malls? seaports? sporting complexes? housing complexes? How do you know what to release? It's just too difficult to tell since everything is deemed a potential target by terrorists. In this post 9/11 world, do you really want to take a chance? It's a tool that should be best restricted or limited.

It's just not the US is involved here. It's a world wide threat. Other governments has raised this concern as well with possible threats from their own terrorists using Google earth.

To get a better understanding of this please read this pro and con article...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,170733,00.html
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Post by Romulan_Fury »

Well, as much as I 'love' FOX news, they seem to have proven my point. None of the world's governments have even asked that images be taken off of Google Earth. I don't think Google is in the wrong here. They went out and asked if any of the information they were providing was too sensitive for release, and they were given the go ahead. The private companies that sold them the high-res stuff even had to get permission to sell thier photos.

And for the whole matter of taking a chance, you're right. We shouldn't take any chances at all. We should expell all foreigners from our country as they are a 'secuity risk'. We should also remove the entire US from the internet because some terrorist organization might try to send us a virus or hack into our defense mainframe. We should also ban any foreign imports because they may have been tampered with. Besides, if it isn't American made then by golly it isn't good enough, right? Maybe we should also build a giant titatium sheild that covers the entire continent so as to eliminate any sort of threat whatsoever.

Or maybe we should aknowledge the fact that in order to live in the world community and accept progress, there is some risk involved.
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