February, 2009 | robhogg.com

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I just spent a few minutes taking Google Mars for a spin – pretty unbelievable!
Working with JPL/NASA, Google has taken all the orbiter and lander pictures from various missions to Mars, and combined it all together into one big map of the planet, including links to pictures from the surface.

For those not famliar with Google Earth yet, you can surf around the surface of the planet, zooming in and out wherever you like, and in general visually exploring anywhere in the world.

With Google Mars, in a few minutes, I was able to have a look around Olympus Mons (the largest volcano in the Solar System), find a Viking landing spot, complete with overhead black and white images from the lander, and find the trail and path of one of the current MER robots, Opportunity. This last included bookmarks to images that, when clicked on, zooms you into a panoramic view of that location in full high-resolution color!
[To go into "Mars" mode from within the Google Earth application, click on the little planet icon at the top of the screen and select Mars]

After this little surfing experience I took a step back and looked at this: as a society we have managed to explore another planet (or at least make a tiny start on it) for the last few decades. Now however, all that data has been combined and filtered down into one overall, easily accessible, comprehensive “scouting” package, that has been electronically distributed to ever person in this group, so that they can have a look over there themselves.

Not a bad feat for mankind, not bad at all.


Well I’ve taken a little hiatus from this blog. I just got overloaded with too many adventurous things!

Many times though I thought of something I really would like to share with anyone who’d care to find me, so I’m going to see if I can capture some of those. A few posts will be a bit “old news” but my own personal view of each might be interesting for you…