Google has given a big boost to the new layers added over the weekend to Google Earth. In particular, the new layers under “Featured Content->Global Awareness” each get their own write-up at the Official Google Blog.
First, the Appalachian Mountain Top Removal layer gets a write-up by Appalachian Voice Executive Director Mary Anne Hitt. This new layer shows the destructive new mining techniques in practice by coal mining companies in West Virginia where they have removed the tops of mountains to get to the coal and minerals. These mountains were off the beaten path from towns and highways, so unless you saw them from above you wouldn’t know about it. By the way, this layer has some hidden features like this 3D model of a piece of mining machinery called a “dragline” which scrapes the top of the mountain off. You can find it under the “Mining Tour” at “Stage 3“.
Second, the World Wildlife Fund Conservation Project layer gets a write-up on the Google Blog by James Leape, Director General, WWF International. This layer contains placemarks marking the locations of the many WWF projects around the world drawing focus to endangered animals and the environment. Each placemark includes some background information on the project, photos of the endangered species or environmental feature, and links to more information at the WWF web site.
A write-up on the official Google Blog combined with a layer in Google Earth will result in at least several hundred thousand page views, so this will really help these organizations out.