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They don't have topo maps yet, but that shouldn't be long since it is free data AFAIK.
they still don't have a simple legend nor do they admit when they can't find a spot - typical ;)
Indeed it did. What I find personally amusing though, is the fact that money (and development) for this project was being spent before Page & Brin were even born...
Now I haven't checked the whole planet, but it's obvious to me (the clouds don't lie!) that Google is using Landsat imagery.
First launched in 1972, the Landsat satellite series constitutes one of the longest continuous records in Earth observation. The objective of the Landsat program has always been to provide multispectral imagery of the Earth’s land areas at moderate resolution (30-90 meter horizontal resolution) to support resource assessment, land-cover mapping, and to track inter-annual changes in the environment.
If you really dig the imagery you're seeing via Google, you can - with some work & a powerful computer - download & create your own full-res version (8632 x 7716!) of your area of interest.
Global Land Cover Facility: glcf.umiacs.umd.edu/data/ [glcf.umiacs.umd.edu]
It's far too off-topic for me to get into what to do & where to go if you visit the GLCF, but if you're interested in more info, sticky me. (Enough interest will generate a Foo [webmasterworld.com] post...)
jcoronella lamented the fact that there is no topographic data available. Good news - GLCF also supplies SRTM data!
The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) obtained elevation data on a near-global scale to generate the most complete high-resolution digital topographic database of Earth. SRTM consisted of a specially modified radar system that flew onboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour during an 11-day mission in February of 2000.
If you look at capital hill, the image appears to be in lower resolution, however the pentagon is in high resolution. If they are censoring images, they are picking the wrong targets.
This week gizmo quiz, locate all 117 minutemen missle silos in kansas, using google satelite map feature :)
- It would be good to just right click on the map over any monument/landmark and get to know what that place is, with a link to a Google Query for reading more information regarding that place.
Thus, currently Google places balloon icons for businesses for which it know latitude longitude, how cool would it be to be able to do just the "reverse", i.e right click on any part of the map and Google would be able to tell us what that place/maonument is! :)
So when a user just does a web search for say "Niagara Falls", Google would then even link to direct satellite maps for the same..
"See Niagara Falls Now...."