Google Earth: Scientific Tool

As a technophile blogger, I feel that I can speak for the majority of the other technophile bloggers out there when I say that I can sometimes get carried away in the newest thing for no other reason than because it’s the newest thing.  Sure, functionality eventually plays a part in whether I continue to use it or not, but initially, it must be tried.  Google Earth was such thing.  Really quite cool to begin with.  Still pretty cool later too. 
After the initial "coolness" wore off, the onslaught of addons and overlays started.  One of the first that I used was an overlay that showed the flooding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit.  I remember thinking how amazing it was that Google Earth and some programmer somewhere gave me the tools to accurately see the devastation that the hurricane wrought. 
The point is that we sometimes forget that the new "cool" toy can have a real-life honest use as a tool.
Google Earth, in it’s maturity is now being used as a tool for scientists the world over.

Epidemiologists, meteorologists and urban planners have also discovered the magic of Google’s model of the globe. For them, one of the program’s most attractive features is the ability to graphically depict many different types of data on the digital planet. They can set position markers for cases of bird flu or the locations of crimes. The markers have already been used to label hundred of volcanoes.

Already, Google Earth’s coolness has been surpassed by it’s usefulness. The question that comes to mind, however, is would Google Earth have ever found it’s usefulness if it hadn’t first found it’s coolness with the technophile culture?
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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.