The trend of “prepping”, or being prepared specifically for a major societal disruption (large scale rioting, economic collapse, blackouts, etc), is a growing trend. While there is much debate about whether or not many of the scenarios are likely to occur, a segment of the population spends a great deal of their time preparing for the worst. The Preparedness Advice Blog recently wrote an article on how Google Earth can assist preppers, with some great points in it.
Among other advice, they suggest that you simply “…use Google earth to find every pond or swimming pool within walking distance of your house. Looking at your neighborhood gives you a whole new perspective, you will notice things of which you are unaware.”
They also recommend that you use historical imagery to “see past photos of the same site… to spot changes” and look for choke points if you need to escape your area.
If nothing else, it’s another great example of how you can use Google Earth in your daily life to learn more about the area around you. Be sure to check out the full article on their blog to learn more.