You don't often see revolutionary, killer-apps... Google Earth might just be one.
Coming off of Google's acquisition of Keyhole software (this is the software the news agencies used to bring you satellite images of Iraq during the most recent war), there was much speculation about what Google might be able to do with the technology. What they have produced is an incredible piece of software that combines their search engine and resources and their recent map product into a slick product that you have never seen before. This product is limitless!
Google doesn't innovate in the traditional sense of the word. They perfect something to the point of being revolutionary in its implementation. It a way, this is a little like what Apple has done. The iPod was far from the first portable digital audio player out there, but they perfected the look and interface to the point that the iPod is a revolution. Most of Googles offerings are like that. They are far from the first, but the implementation is so good that it becomes a revolution, which in turn drives other companies to catch up (competition is always good).
When Paul was over two weeks ago, Google Earth came up. He hadn't been able to download it yet, and I had been fantastically busy and had not tried it yet. Seemed like a good time to try. We were both blown away! It literally gave me chills as I watched the world spin and zoom away as its focus shifted from Washington, DC to San Francisco, CA... As we told it to add the "Mexican Restaurant" layer... As I thought of how valuable this would be when moving to a new area... Figuring out, "Oh that's a left hand exit" when watching a "Tour" of your directions that you wanted because of the detail of the satellite image...
I'm not going to go into all the features... Its would be too much.
It literally gave me chills.