Download of the day: Google Earth

The whole world in your hands

Google Earth’s name is a little misleading these days, because in addition to modelling the entire world, it also enables you to explore bits of the moon and Mars.

It’s an astonishing technological feat, and its uses are almost endless: you can use it to explore far-flung places or see the ocean floor; you can see the effects of natural disasters or use it to identify places to visit when you’re travelling somewhere; you can use it as an educational tool or just load up on Sunny Delight, sit really close to the screen and imagine you can fly.

Maybe that last one is just us.

Why you need it

If you have children it’s a must-have app: it’s widely used in education and the ability to access all kinds of data and swoop and soar around the planet is just as exciting today as when we first experienced it just over a decade ago (and it’s much more realistic).

And if you don’t have children it’s just as useful: you can watch real-time traffic flows and explore the potential effects of earthquakes, see entire cities in 3D and virtually visit places like Mount Everest. How amazing is that?

Download here: Google Earth

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Contributor

Former lion tamer, Girls Aloud backing dancer and habitual liar Gary Marshall (Twitter, Google+) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to .net, MacFormat, Tap! and Official Windows Magazine as well as co-writing stacks of how-to tech books. "My job is to cut through the crap," he says. "And there's a lot of crap."