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Fly Your Penguin On Google Earth - page 2

Download and Go

  • June 13, 2006
  • By Rob Reilly

Once the program is loaded and running, you're set to fly Penguin style.

You can enter an address, city, or destination in the 'fly to' menu at the upper left hand corner of the screen. Double left clicking on a spot on the globe will also take you to that spot. You can double left click again to zoom in more. If you move the cursor to the upper right hand corner, the direction and zoom controls magically appear.

The upper horizonal slider changes the angle of the view. Clicking the '-' side will lay the image over so you can fly over the map at treetop level. The '+' control returns to looking perpendicular to the ground.

The vertical slider lets you zoom in and out. The same thing is accomplished using the mouse wheel. If you grab the compass and spin it one way or the other, the globe follows suit. It works at any zoom level and gives an interesting perspective when flying down a city street, in your direction of choice.

Ground elevations are incorporated into the Google database, too. I clicked to Chattanooga, Tennessee, angled the view over to about 30 degrees, then rotated the compass, so as to look to the west. Sure enough, I could plainly see Lookout Mountain and the surrounding contours. I then put the angle view back to perpendicular and moved directly over the Eastern point of the ridge. After descending to about 3500 feet, I then moved around in the view, using the left mouse button. The mountain jumped out at me in 3-D. Very impressive.

Of course, the view isn't quite as spectacular as driving west out of the city on I-24. Travelers can definitely get an impression about the lay of the land before they go there in person. I also explored the Denver area with similar excitement. Selected cities and areas around the world are in the database.

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