Google Blogoscoped

Monday, March 13, 2006

Google Mars

Google is now showing you maps of the Mars. This feels just like Google Maps for earth, or the previous Google Moon*. You can switch between three different map types; elevation, visible**, and infrared. A list of "links of interest" (like where spacecrafts landed), as well as named mountains, canyons, dunes and craters is also available.

Google in their Mars FAQ says they're working on a version of this Mars data to be used in Google Earth (desktop) clients.

The Google Mars map is also linked from a special Google logo today (we know those little cyan aliens from the Google Mars logo of January 2004).

*Google Moon was only a half-serious project though (try zooming in as close as you can to see why).

**As to why this visible map is in gray-scale, not color, Google replies: "In true color, Mars pretty much looks like butterscotch. We chose a gray-scale map in order to highlight more surface details."

Signs of a coming Google galaxy...

As the Googlist notes, Google Mars may only be the beginning of a coming "Google Galaxy." Back in 2005, Google registered the following domains for Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Pluto and so on (always with .com, .org, .net and .info):

Arizona conspiracy?

And then there's this JavaScript on which Josue R. snooped around in – and found the following strange piece of code (showing different locations from where the map data was or is coming from):

// Where does the data come from?
// var mapsServer="";
// var mapsServer="";
var mapsServer="";

[Thanks Manoj Nahar, Wang Y., Garett Rogers,, and Reto Meier.]


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