Friday, July 01, 2005

Google Earth: the Earth is down, chums

Enter-finger-twitchy downloaders will have to wait for their free copy of Google Earth, Google's new software toy designed to provide you with satellite images of our planet: The whole world is covered with medium resolution imagery and terrain data. This resolution allows you to see major geographic features and man-made development such as towns, but not detail of individual buildings. Additional high-resolution imagery which reveals detail for individual buildings is available for most of the major cities in the US, Western Europe, Canada, and the UK. 3D buildings are represented in 38 US cities (the major urban areas).

I suspect this may be sufficient resolution so that you, too, can discover the next Amarna, which you have to admit would be way cool, but not enough resolution to allow you to figure out if your neighbor's boobs are real. Oh, well.

As it stands, however, this nifty freeware's attainability ranks somewhere between cold fusion and time travel:

Google Earth downloads temporarily delayed

Thanks for your interest in Google Earth, but we're sorry we can't offer you a download right now. As you know, Google Earth is in beta, and we're still building out our ability to take on new users. We're making good progress, and expect to be able to accept new downloads shortly, so we recommend you check back daily at We hope to be able to welcome you and other new planet surfers soon.

We appreciate your patience,

The Google Earth Team

Stay tuned.


Has anyone seen the cover art for the July 4th issue of The New Yorker? Sadly, I can't find a link for you on this. You'll just have to check your friendly neighborhood magazine vendor, or settle for my description.

Title: "Party of One" Artist: frequent New Yorker contributor Barry Blitt Content: Uncle Sam, cheeks red with embarrassment, sits alone in a room decorated with balloons and red and blue streamers. The table is set with red- and blue-themed party hats, cups, and plates, and a great big Happy Birthday! cake sits before poor Sam. The chairs are all empty.

Sorry to get all political on you guys, but this image struck me as surprisingly incisive. The expression on Sam's face -- sad, petulant, humiliated -- makes you want to give him a hug. It's okay, Sammy. Maybe next year, your friends will come.

We can hope.


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