The Google Earth Effect: Define

Here’s one definition from a column in the Belfast Telegraph about a possible nuclear facility in Pakistan seen via satellite images.

The pictures are the latest example of what could be termed the “Google Earth effect” – the way in which commercially available satellite photographs are making what were once state secrets open knowledge.

A Wired article from March uses the term this way.

DigitalGlobe’s Herring says more uses of imagery will be discovered in years to come.

He’s optimistic about the prospects in light of the “Google Earth effect”: The more people view geo-spatial imagery, the more they incorporate it into how they visualize their surroundings.

Is that the Google Earth effect? Is it something more? Is it different for different people, i.e., in the “eye of the beholder?” If so, what exactly is the Google Earth effect for us in the geospatial industry? Or, is not that important to what we do, such that we can dismiss it?

I was suprised to find just a handful of references the “effect” on the Web. Perhaps that’s not to be the name for this effect?

Published Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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