Exploring the deserts with Google Earth

Google Sightseeing is in the middle of “Desert Week 2011”, uncovering interesting tidbits from various deserts around the world. It might sound boring (miles of sand…), but they’ve found some good stuff so far!
On Monday they took at look at a very odd formation in the Grand Erg Oriental (KML). At first glance, it appears that it could have been from a plane crash, but there is no wreckage to be found. Their user comments have suggested some other theories, but nothing conclusive. What do you think it might be?


Tuesday they traveled to the “Official Center of the World”, which is apparently in Felicity, California (KML). The story behind how that title came to be is quite interesting, and the various monuments (plus a man-made hill and pyramid) are quite impressive to see from Google Earth.

Wednesday took us a few states east into southern New Mexico to White Sands National Monument (KML). There are a variety of beautiful areas to look at in White Sands, but Lake Lucero is the most stunning from the air. After heavy rains, water pools in the area and leaves behind large crystals as the it evaporates. It’s certainly a sight to see.

Yesterday they ventured out to the Mojave Desert and nearby Owens Valley (KML). This area is full of cool sights, including Edwards Air Force Base, Red Rock Canyon, the Coso Volcanic Fields and the Alabama Hills. The Alabama Hills have been popular shooting location for movies over the years, with 150 movies and a dozen TV shows using the location due to it’s “rugged” environment.

Sometime later today they’ll wrap up the series. Be sure to check out their site to see what they show off next.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. Re: The Grand Erg Oriental formation. Looks like a Sandworm to me. 😉

  2. I like the center of the world being either the core or at (0,0), that way no-one can claim it or sell certificates for it.

Leave a Reply