24 July 2008

[net_liff, app_design] Google Earth Is A Surreal World

1674.


It's surreal in a good way, though. I adore Street View. After not having Google Earth on board here for a while, I re-downloaded it to see how it had grown.


The implementation of Street View in Google Earth requires a little bit of experimentation, there's a learning curve. But once you can finesse it, you get a really cool effect.


Enabling Street view causes a whole lot of little camera icons to appear, and they become more numerous the closer you zoom in (and they populate with the speed your connection allows). Clicking on any of these cameras, each one a position where the Google rover took a pic, will take you instantly to the Street View shot, and you can navigate about just as in the broswer-based version.


But if you zoom in just close enough, a positively sci-fi scene pertains:



Each camera position turns into a little "bubble", a miniaturized fish-eye view from the camera's POV.



When these are clicked on, you actually fall into the little bubble, and once you contact the surface, the fish-eye scene flattens out to take up the whole screen. The smoothness will depend on the speed of your processor of course. If you look sharp, you'll see a bit of the underlying photograph reflected on the outside before you dive in, further reinforcing the "cyberspacey" feel of it all.


It's fun, and visually seductive.


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3 comments:

My Left Nut said...

I still have the most fun with the built-in flight simulator. I take trips all over the world. Sometimes I fly at 1024MPH down low over the water, and other times, I fly higher and slower. The best part is that you can fly around the world and never frun out of gas.

It's hidden, but you can get the directions and keystrokes for flying here:
http://myleftgonad.blogspot.com/2007/11/armchair-pilots-rejoice.html

LT said...

Wow. I had no idea. Gonna have to try that out.

And a flight simulator? Nobody tells me nuthin.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Yeah, isn't that stuff the shiznit?

I'm really in love with GEarth now. This stuff rocks.