Google Earth Not Cool Enough? Try Google Mars
Apparently Google is done mapping the Earth, as they have now gone to mapping Mars.
Google Mars has actually been in the works for some time (the site lists its last update as March 2006), though it isn’t nearly widely as known as other Google applications and “experiments”, such as Chrome, Picasa and my own fave, Google Maps.
Google Mars opens with a color-keyed map depicting the elevation of the landscape taken by the Mars Global Surveyor. From here you can switch to visible and infrared views. Google has also tagged the locations of important land features as well as spacecraft locations. Tags also point to information including photos, NASA and other articles on the particular feature, and other tidbits. You can even find the infamous “face”, though you can’t zoom down far enough to really see it. There is also a search available if you’re looking to find a particular feature.
At first glance, you’d think this would be an interesting little 5-minute break from your day. However, students and astronomy fanboys will find this an attractive and relatively easy to navigate gold mine of information. The resolution is incredibly sharp and striking. It’s well worth the time you put in to it.