The Utility Belt: Google Earth's updates, and Dell's eye-catching usage

"Googledell Google (GOOG) on Thursday announced upgrades to Google Earth, its 3D mapping tool. The improvements include land and buildings in every inhabited continent. Below is a list of Google's hints about what's changed – a clever way to get people to open up the app and fly around.

  • Two states known for their majestic peaks have gotten an upgrade.
  • I can now see where my favorite maple syrup is made.
  • Certain Florida beaches (and 1 mountain) are looking much improved.
  • Try counting the warthogs in the Boneyard.
  • Peek inside the home of the Brew Crew.
  • You can read the Skin's logo painted on their field.
  • An historic state capitol building is now in high res.
  • This city was named after the Native American name of a nearby mountain, "Tacobet."
  • A "far away" city that played a key role in trans-Saharan trade can now be seen close up.
  • The town where Jane Austen spent her final years is much clearer.
  • The topic of Vincent van Gogh's Cafe Terrace at Night is now bright as day.
  • Take a look at "la ville noir," where Cointreau was invented.
  • Only a third of this country's land is arable, but you can now view the entire country in high res.
  • From 1880 to 1884 this German city was home to the world's tallest building.
  • Rockets may be used to disrupt rain clouds over this city next summer.
  • This country received an impressive terrain update, you might call it Lord of the Terrain.

What caught my eye, though, was a related announcement about upgrades to Google Earth Enterprise. Google Earth Enterprise is a version of the software that large corporations can use to plan their operations and analyze data. Think of it as one of those big, push-pin war-room maps, only digital and in three dimensions. Businesses can layer their own data on top of a 3D map of the world, and visualize where customers are, where sales are happening in real-time – whatever they want."

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