July 4th, Map within a Map, and Google Earth Moderator Meeting

It’s July 4th, US Independence Day, and I’m visiting Washington, D.C. for a few days. Google invited a few dedicated volunteers here for a few days to see the sights while meeting to discuss some work for Google Earth. The moderators of the Google Earth Community (GEC) volunteer their time to help manage the huge population (850,000 registered members and millions of readers) of forum participants who post things they find interesting in Google Earth or discuss what has been found or shown. The moderators are a very interesting group of individuals who come from all over the world: New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland, Spain, the US, and more. They range in age from 18 to past retirement, and have backgrounds from many walks of life like the military, computer science, home makers, an ophthalmologist surgeon, a pilot instructor, and many other careers. More importantly, many have been involved with managing the forums since the days of Keyhole (the application Google bought which became Google Earth). These are really good, intelligent people who want to help the growing community of GE share their enthusiasm for the many ways you can learn about our planet, or learn about many topics thanks to the information sharing possible through the GEC forums.
Recursive map - Freedom Plaza - in Google EarthNear the hotel where the meeting is being held is the Washington Freedom Plaza. This Plaza has a very large map engraved on the ground which represents the streets, mall, and area near the US Capitol building (you can find it by simply searching for “Freedom Plaza” while looking at the US). It occurred to me that someday they should upgrade the map to Freedom Plaza 2.0. A large printout of the satellite photos from GE could be shown instead for the map. To demonstrate, check out this image overlay for Google Earth of the concept – zoom in to see the map within a map. If you keep zooming and look for the Freedom Plaza again, you’ll see I also added an image overlay of the original map. Its really kind of a recursive loop. 🙂
I guess since I often write about things posted at the GEC, and about some of the efforts the moderators perform, they invited me to come to the meeting as well. I also briefly attended last year’s meeting of the moderators in Mountain View. As with any Google event, we are being treated to large amounts of food, so its a good thing we are all planning to do a fair bit of walking to see the Washington museums and sights. I’ll keep an eye out for other KML files related to the trip and report on them later. In the meantime, I hope the moderators all enjoy a bit of fun for all the hard work they have performed in the service of the GE Community. Google certainly recognizes their efforts, and I’m sure many of the other regulars participants in the community do as well. By the way, one of the moderators has just officially become a Googler: Phil Verney. Congrats Phil!

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.

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