A Tribute to Danescombe – RIP

The Google Earth Community (GEC) has over 1 million subscribers and tens of millions more who have visited posts describing many thousands of topics there at one time or another. It was started long before there was Google Earth as a place for people to share interesting sites found in Keyhole’s EarthViewer (which is what Google Earth was called before Google bought it). Since that time, the site has experience massive growth and covers a wide range of topics and types of content related to Google Earth.
In order to keep the community thriving, there are a group of volunteers who contribute quality content, guide people on how to use the forums, help people understand features in Google Earth, and help make sure appropriate content finds the proper place within the community. These people are known as “moderators” of the GEC. Many of these people just take an intense interest in the subject matter of the GEC and later are recruited by the forum administrators to help as moderators.
Picture of Dave - aka DanescombeOn March 4th, the GEC lost a shining light among the many stars of the forums. He was a member, he was a prolific contributor of content, he was a moderator, and he was more. His name in the forums was ‘Danescombe‘ – in real life, his name was Dave. He left us too soon, on his birthday at the age of 44, leaving behind a loving wife and family. He succumbed to complications from heart surgery. The Google Earth Community will miss him greatly – as seen in this thread of posts.
Dave had an obvious enthusiasm for Google Earth, and an earnest desire to share it. So much so, that Dave posted thousands of times to the forums in the past three years. Dave was one of the smartest people I’ve met in the forums with in-depth posts on a wide range of topics. He was a visionary with ideas which later became a part of GE. His greatest pursuit was in the “Fun & Games” forums – where Dave posted some of the most challenging and interesting puzzles for people to solve and was often the one to find the answer to other puzzles. He was even given the title of “Gaming Master“, but because of his tact and ability to guide people with his humor and whit he was more like a “Gaming Maestro“. Here was his last post to the fun & games forum while he was waiting to go into the hospital.
I was fortunate enough to meet Dave on a few occasions because I was invited to meet the moderators during some of their annual meetings. Dave was as engaging and cheerful in person as he was in the forums. We are fortunate that we have thousands of bits of wisdom from Danescombe left in the GEC archives. But, in tribute to Dave – I would like to see a place named in his honor in Google Earth. In real life there are roads and places named in memorial to people. Can we do no less for someone who contributed so much to Google Earth?
Dave we miss you, and our hearts go out to the family you left behind.
[UPDATE 10-March: The GEC has dedicated a forum to some of Danescombe’s posts.]

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.


  1. Frank, that’s a lovely tribute to Dave.
    As for a more formal tribute for him on GE, there will be a forum of his best posts in one of the moderated areas, so that we can re-visit them with ease. It’s the very least he deserves.

  2. smokeonit says:

    deepest condolences to the family.

  3. Thank you for your tribute to Dave. He is missed and fondly remembered.

  4. TheLedge says:

    Many thanks Frank, What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful Man.
    We shall miss him, but never forget Him.

  5. carmedic says:

    Many thanks for your tribute to Dave
    He will be missed by all the members of the community, but never forgotten

  6. Stan567 says:

    Thank you for everything Dave, we’ll miss you.
    Condolences to the family.
    Thank you for the tribute Frank.

  7. AmericanXplorer13 says:

    Very nice tribute. He will be missed greatly.

  8. Masonicmoron says:

    Thank you for posting this fitting tribute to Dave

  9. A great tribute to a great man. His passing will leave a big hole in GE. Deepest sympathy to his wife and children.

  10. thank you reading your messages are a huge comfort to us all
    Mary daves sister

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