Google earth broadens its perspective

September 16, 2007

Google earth is a very useful tool since you can look up an aerial map for almost anywhere on the face of the earth. Well, now you can look up locations out of this world. Google has added maps of the sky to their google maps application. A link can be found here to google maps.

As a physics teacher, I find it a useful tool in that I am able to show students the night sky during broad daylight to teach astronomy and the constellations. However, the linking option that google offers on the stellar map could be used to link information about how the constellations got their names and countless other subjects that relate to stars.

This leads me to ask, what if google applied this linking to its google maps and the internet as a whole in the future?

How cool/teachable would it be if students could virtually go anywhere on google maps and link to pages explaining interesting information or facts about the area of the map they are viewing? Students could then explore the geography and also the history/culture/art and people of any area of the world. With the addition of social networks students could chat and talk to any area of interest.

Things such as the google linking of constellations to Hubble telescope pictures makes me want to think in broader terms of what will the internet look like after it gets out of its infancy? Will every word in articles,blogs and publication be cross referenced to other pages of interest that can instantly be linked instead of googling for information as we do today?

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