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Planners, Scientists Discover Power Of Google Earth

Google Earth has "injected new life" into the geographic information systems industry.

"Google Earth wasn't really intended for scientists...But now the scientific community is discovering how useful the software is for their own work...Earth played an unexpectedly useful role in the wake of last summer's disastrous flooding in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina...

Epidemiologists, meteorologists and urban planners have also discovered the magic of Google's model of the globe. For them, one of the program's most attractive features is the ability to graphically depict many different types of data on the digital planet..

[Geographic information systems are] frighteningly cumbersome. Their biggest drawback is that they spit out vast numbers of individual maps without providing a look at the whole picture -- they don't provide a digital globe rotating directly in front of the viewer's eyes...Google Earth's popularity among ordinary users is injecting new life into the entire industry...

..The California-based firm ESRI, a market leader in the field, plans to launch a completely revised version of its ArcGIS program in a few weeks. The new version will also feature a virtual globe accessible through the Internet."

Thanks to Cartography

Full Story: How Google Earth Is Changing Science

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