Satellites are amazing devices for taking long range photos of the earth below. When we discovered that we could find our own house on our own street in our own neighborhood, we were like little kids checking it out. For us, this is a new frontier. We were saying things like, “Look, there’s our trampoline!’ and “Hey! That looks like Cousin John’s truck parked in our driveway!” and, “Wow, the neighbors have a built in swimming pool in their back yard!” We were even able to print a satellite view of our house and neighborhood.
Google has a link to Google Earth on their website. The version we downloaded is free and it really is very interesting to play with. When we were planning our last vacation to Kauai, we typed in the address of the vacation home we would be renting so that we could see the neighborhood and get an idea of how it would feel to ‘live’ there for ten days. For me, anticipating a vacation like that is half the fun, so Google Earth only enhanced that anticipation and we had a blast looking at the places we would visit in Kauai once we actually arrived. People post their own photos in the areas you are looking at and all you have to do is click on the camera icons to see them, so you get a real feel for how your vacation spot will look when you get there.
To see a satellite view of places you are interested in “spying on”, just download the free version, type in an address or place of interest, and start exploring! There are a lot of options you can choose to look at in your satellite view. You can ask Google Earth to show you where restaurants or hotels are. Street views are available which can really help when you will be trying to find places for the first time. You can even get an up-to-date weather report.
If you haven’t played with this great free resource yet, you really should take the time to check it out. It is interesting, educational, and fun!