What’s the best thing that Google’s ever done? Adwords, that’s pretty clever if you’re a businessy type. Analytics, that’s pretty cool if you’re a webmastery type. The search engine itself, that’s pretty fantastic if you’re any type at all (unless you’re in China).
But all that stuff is secondary in my mind to Google’s towering achievement (and let’s sweep under the carpet the fact that they actually acquired most of the software by buying up the original company behind it), probably the single best piece of computer software since Super Mario World… I speak, of course, of The Almighty Google Earth.
I hardly need to explain it here, it’s the world on your desktop and you can zoom in almost far enough to check if you’re actually developing a bald spot, or spin around the world in corky 3d-o-vision like you’re presenting a child-depressing Newsround report on the plight of Malaysian duckbilled penguins. You can even get it to map out a route to drive somewhere if you like that sort of thing… or go and look at the Big Brother house. If you like that sort of thing.
In short, Google Earth is amazing and literally makes me feel like I’m living in the future, and I’ve finally had an reason to talk about it because there’s a new version out. Look, you can even see UKFast towers on there!*
* OK so my links here aren’t to Google Earth but its flatter cousin, Google Maps… sadly we’re not allowed to use the beast in the office, given its habit of trying to download the whole planet and the attendant bandwidth-eating that ensues…