Google Mars Update
13 Mar 2009
Mars, Then and Now: Google Mars Update
Editor's Note: To access the Mars mode, download Google Earth and open
it up. In the toolbar section on top, click on the small icon resembling
the planet Saturn and select Mars.
Today, NASA and Google announce an update to Mars in Google Earth, a 3D mapping tool for the Red Planet.
Originally released with Google Earth 5.0, Mars in Google Earth now
contains even more features that give users a sense of how our knowledge
of Mars, and our study of astronomy, has evolved over time. After
selecting 'Mars' from the toolbar in Google Earth, users fly to a 3D
view of the Red Planet, complete with informational layers, imagery, and
terrain. The tools for navigation and exploration on Mars are identical
to those on Earth - zoom in and out, change the camera view, or spin the
entire planet with a click of the mouse.
There are three new features in this updated version of Mars in Google
Earth. First, users can travel back in time to see the Red Planet
through the eyes of the pioneers of Mars science in the 'Historical
Maps' layer by exploring antique maps by astronomers Giovanni
Schiaparelli, Percival Lowell, and others . Then, they can fast-forward
to the present day with the new 'Live from Mars' layer, featuring a
continuous stream of the latest imagery from today's Mars spacecraft.
'Live from Mars' includes imagery from NASA's THEMIS
camera on board the Mars Odyssey spacecraft,
and lets users fly along with Odyssey as well as the Mars Reconnaissance
Orbiter to see what they have been observing lately and where they are
headed next. Users can discover these, and other exciting features??"and
learn all about the history of Mars science and exploration with two new
guided tours of Mars narrated by Ira Flatow of Public Radio's Science Friday and Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Mars in Google Earth also contains several updated elements, in addition
to the many popular features that were available at the original
launch. We've included updated imagery from NASA
and ESA, and improved the search
function to make it easier to explore well-known sites on Mars. Just as
they could in the original version of Mars in Google Earth, users can
read geo-located articles from Hartmann's A Traveler's Guide to Mars
about the solar system's largest canyon, Valles Marineris, its tallest
volcano, Olympus Mons, the infamous 'Face on Mars', and many other
famous Martian locations. They can also follow the paths of Mars rovers
and view hi-resolution panoramic photos of the Mars surface.