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Digitizing the Planet: Google Earth vs MSN Virtual Earth vs MapQuest

Cyberspace Has Been Indexed; Next the Search Engines Are Indexing the Physical World

"The next time I lose my car keys, maybe I can just go onto Google and search for them," speculated futurist Paul Saffo (pictured) recently. The director of the Institute for the Future was referring to Google Earth, its "virtual globe" project launched last month at a news conference.

MapQuest must be looking over its shoulder as Google, and now Microsoft too, begin to compete for the 3 million unique users the service currently claims, by entering the online map space. Just as Google has created Google Earth, so Microsoft's MapPoint Business Unit has created MSN Virtual Earth project.

At the Google Earth demo, a 3-D version of the Grand Canyon was navigated virtually.

Saffo told The Washington Post that the digitizing of the planet was a logical extension for Google: "Google has indexed all of cyberspace," he told the paper's reporter. "If it's going to keep growing, it's going to have to index something else - and that something else is physical reality."

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Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Most Recent Comments
Earth Satellite Maps - Google Earth Blog 09/02/06 12:04:16 AM EDT

Trackback Added: [Sys-Con] Google Earth vs MSN Virtual Earth vs MapQuest; Sys-Con’s short review of the 3 most popular satellite mapping sites.
Digitizing the Planet: Google Earth vs MSN Virtual Earth vs MapQuest
— ‘The next time I lose my car keys, maybe I can just go onto Google and search for them,’ sp...

Wayne Sanderson 07/30/06 12:56:41 PM EDT

Google Earth needs more layers and layer controle like inferared,electromagnetic and topographical mappeng.Otherwise it is prety dern good