Wave mechanics in Google Earth

As you know, Google Earth contains a staggering amount of high-resolution imagery. Thanks to this, it provides a great opportunity to study interesting things such as wave mechanics.
Fabrizio Logiurato at Trento University in Italy has been studying wave mechanics in Google Earth and is finding it fascinating. He’s cited a number of examples in his paper, including these below:
Interference on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand | KML


Diffraction and the reflection of circular waves at Port Elizabeth, South Africa | KML
(Use the historical imagery from 11/7/2006 to see the image below)

Wave diffraction at the opening of the port of Alexandria in Egypt | KML

Google Earth can be used for an amazingly wide variety of things, and this research by Fabrizio is another great example of that.
(via Technology Review)

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. There’s a really nice example of wave defraction – on a massive scale – at the Straights of Gibralta. The ripples fan out into the Med as currents flow in from the Atlantic.

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