Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Intelligent Machines

Annotating the Earth

Google Earth goes deeper.

Finding information linked to geographical ­locations became far easier last year with the launch of Google Earth, a collection of zoomable aerial and ­satellite photos carpeting a 3-D model of the earth. Now, deeper layers of information are becoming accessible. With the click of a mouse, icons linking to masses of information provided by organizations such as the United Nations, the U.S. National Park Service, National Geographic, and the Discovery Channel appear atop the Google Earth landscape. Depictions of buildings, national boundaries, and road networks have long been part of Google Earth. But the new service is Google’s first official attempt to build what might be described as a geographically indexed world encyclopedia.

A satellite shot of Egypt’s great pyramids now includes an icon leading to documentary videos. (Courtesy of Google)
More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Print + All Access Digital.
  • Print + All Access Digital {! insider.prices.print_digital !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The best of MIT Technology Review in print and online, plus unlimited access to our online archive, an ad-free web experience, discounts to MIT Technology Review events, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    6 bi-monthly issues of print + digital magazine

    10% discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    Ad-free website experience

    The Download: newsletter delivered daily

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.