Happy New Google Earth in the News

Monday, 5th January 2009 by

Yes, we’re finally back, and as to be expected, we missed some great Google Earth-related news while we were off.

Firstly the story that seems to have sprung up everywhere is (of course) a Street View one. The garage419 site posted images from a high mountain road in Colorado, where the Google car supposedly took some spy-shots of a fleet of top-secret, as-yet-unreleased Porches!

This is actually the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, which is the highest paved vehicle road in North America, and apparently the only place in the world where car manufacturers can test their vehicles at altitudes of up to 4,306 metres (14,127 feet). Looks like those clever German engineers don’t leave anything to chance, eh?

Next, the Daily Fail tells the story of a “Lost World” discovered with the help of Google Earth. Our satellite sightseeing friends at Kew Gardens spotted an unexpected patch of green forest in the mountains of Mozambique, and when they paid the area a visit, were rewarded with the discovery of a new species of adder, three new species of butterfly, a rarely seen orchid, giant snakes, and colonies of rare birds.

Of course the country’s crappest newspaper failed to include a link to said unspoiled paradise, so it was up to the always reliable Stefan at Ogle Earth to come up with the goods.

Stefan points out that the most interesting thing about the area from up here is that even when viewing it with the enormously comprehensive Geonames.org database loaded, there are still no place names to be seen. Which suggests to us that anyone could find their own undiscovered paradise, simply by looking for places that aren’t marked in Geonames or any of Google Earth’s own databases! Fame and fortune awaits, clearly.

Finally, we come to the story of an American “treasure hunter”, who has gone to court to try to win the right to excavate a sunken ship, which he says he discovered using Google Earth. Mr Nathan Smith reckons the ship ran aground and sank in the mud near the Mission River, Texas, in 1822 while trying to avoid a hurricane. Mr Smith claims that half the crew died during the voyage and those remaining were killed by a local cannibal tribe. He also believes that the ship contains $3 billion in buried treasure1.

Of course Mr Smith isn’t telling exactly where this sunken treasure is, only that it’s somewhere around here. However sources that have seen the Google Earth image in question describe it as looking “something like a shoe print“, so maybe we could beat him to it!

So, what else did we miss?

  1. For the record, it should be pointed out that Mr Smith’s treasure hunting “career” was inspired by Nicolas Cage’s performance in National Treasure…