Cartography on Steroids

I rarely have to prove to anyone that I’m a nerd. Usually, the taped glasses, hiked-up pants, and pocket protector readily betray the fact. However, if someone does doubt, I tell them that when I was in elementary school I carried around (and subsequently wore out) The Rand McNally Road Atlas and The Rand McNally World Atlas everywhere I went. I wished for and received a globe for Christmas in third grade (thanks, Santa!), and it wasn’t long before I could locate the Marianas Trench, the Dead Sea, and Mt. Everest quicker than any kid on the block. Any doubts now?

My geographic nerddom recently got a boost with the release of Google Earth, which gives new meaning to the idea of “looking down upon someone.” It’s like the satellite feature in Google Maps, but Google Earth has many more features like panning, tilting, zooming, and “flying” from one location to another. If I have your address, chances are I’ve already taken a look at the top of your house (you might want to think twice about how “free” you get with your backyard sun-tanning from now on…) and placed a marker on it. It’s a cool, fun, and—despite what Walt Mossberg says—useful product. The price is right, so download it now.

(Hat tip: TulipGirl)

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