Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Google Earth – It Just Keeps Getting Better

This morning I had an e-mail from my nephew at GoogleEarth. There are days I feel like one of the luckiest women in the world – my sisters and I have the most interesting children, now young adults, and they are all working in areas where they feel useful – stressed, working too hard – but greatly satisfied, greatly productive.

How cool is it to love Geography, and to be working for GoogleEarth? I grin every time I think of my nephew, who loves the work he is doing.

His e-mail a couple weeks ago reminded me that the new GoogleEarth was out and to be sure to upgrade. You can be sure I did. Today, he tells me about another blog that always has the most up-to-date goodies from GE – Google Earth Blog.

On November 12, Frank Taylor, the blog author, says:

Google has quietly introduced four new Featured Content Layers today. Go to the Layers on the lower left and look for “Featured Content”. Open the folder and look for the new layers at the top. Each is marked with a red “New!”. Here’s a brief overview of the new layers:

Rumsey Historical Maps – This is a collection of historical maps which you can overlay over their location on Earth. If you are not running Google Earth 4, you will not see this layer. Open the folder and turn on the map that interests you. The first link shows you the locations of the different map and each description gives you a few details. You can then turn on each map and they will be overlayed in GE. The maps are “regionated” which means they will load more detail as you get closer (it also means the images are scanned at a very high resolution). I’m sure some of my mapping friends like Jonathan Crowe will be curious to see these.

Tracks4Africa – this is my favorite of the new layers. There are maps of places to go in Africa built by compiling data from GSP tracks. The layer also has lots useful information and photos. Zoom in closer to see more detail. You can read more, and buy the maps for your GPS, by going to Tracks4Africa’s web site.

Spotlight on Africa – This is a collection of placemarks showing the flag of each country of Africa. The placemark description includes an overview of basic information of each country from the CIA World Factbook. The placemarks were developed by the National Geographic My Wonderful World campaign to help kids become more geographically aware. This is nicely done, but you can see the whole world done in a similar fashion in this collection.

European Space Agency – this layer shows ESA logo placemarks of different locations where a satellite photo can be viewed of that location. A small picture is in the placemark description, and a link to a page where you can see a larger picture. I am disappointed that you can’t just view the larger pictures overlayed in Google Earth though.

I am blown away by all the new Africa content. On a day when the sky has turned yellow in Kuwait, there are waves cresting out in the Gulf and the air smells like impending squalls, it is a perfect day to spend in Africa, via Google Earth!

Frank Taylor has all kinds of useful information on GE, and I am adding him to my blogroll.

November 13, 2006 Posted by | Africa, Blogroll, ExPat Life, Geography / Maps, Kuwait, Travel, Uncategorized, Weather | 4 Comments


On my way home from a meeting today, there was a guy in a big hurry. First he was behind me, in his great big beat-up black Chevy SUV, then passing me, and then, there he was, right in front of me at the next light. Here’s what gets my attention. On his lower left rear, just above the bumper, are three bullet holes, pretty closely spaced, too. It’s not easy to place three bullets that close together, and I can only imagine that it was done while at least one car was in motion, if not two.

So I’m impressed; someone around here is a sharp shooter.

But why would anyone be shooting at another car here in Kuwait? I can’t remember seeing another car with bullet holes.

November 13, 2006 Posted by | ExPat Life, Language, Random Musings | 4 Comments