Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Voyeurism is an old habit that has gained a considerable amount of popularity in recent years because of technology. Google Earth, an online map of the world, is quickly becoming an amazing resource for people around the globe. The concept of satellite images is nothing new, but making it available to the public is worth talking about.
Google Earth is a program for both Mac and PC that allows the user to “search” the globe. It’s possible to type in an address to see an aerial view of the location, zooming capabilities for close up shots or far away views to find directions, and a way to spend hours looking around. The feature that makes Google Earth an impressive program is its 3D capabilities. The view isn’t this flat image, but a 3D view of the world. Looking straight down into the Grand Canyon is an amazing sight, and looking straight down at people on the street is both fun and a tad bit creepy.
The peak of this program has yet to happen in my opinion. People are just beginning to take advantage of this amazing piece of software. Giant ads are being placed in desolate areas of the earth to promote various endeavors. The Simpson movie had crop circles of Homer and Maxim had a football field sized ad in the middle of the Nevada desert.
The future of this program is causing a lot of talk about National Security. The idea of being able to look down on the world is something exciting, but it may also be considered an invasion of privacy. Right now it’s only images, but in the future it’s very possible that we will be able to see the globe in video. It would be absolutely mind blowing to punch in coordinates and see live video of the earth, but is it appropriate? It’s an exciting thing to think about, but at some point we need to consider what is a useful piece of technology and what is necessary.