Google Earth A to Z: X-Ray, XY and eXplore

One of the neat things that Google Earth does that many people don’t realize is the ability for it to give you “x-ray vision” of the earth. Not in the black-and-white-film sense, but meaning you have the ability to see more than just the surface of the earth.
Some companies use Google Earth to help visualize below-surface items such as a water tables and utilities, and we’ve seen it used many times to help discover (or at least georeference) various archeological finds over the years. Some great examples are this Peruvian Pyramid and some Egyptian tombs discovered by Dr. Sarah Parcak.
XY Coordinates
The Latitude and Longitude lines on our planet, sometimes referred to as XY coordinates, are how systems such as Google Earth and the GPS receiver in your car are able to determine where on Earth you (or any given place) is located. You can read much more about Latitude and Longitude in this post from a few months ago.


Google Earth gives you the power to explore your planet like we’ve never seen before. Most of us started out by finding our home, and many of us have since spent hundreds of hours exploring this vast planet.
The best way to explore is to just go. Fly around and see what you find. Follow streets from your childhood. Just take in all in. If you want to learn more about a particular area, these ten easy steps are some good tips to get you started.
(Yes, coming up with words for “x” was a challenge, so I cheated a bit. Still some good info in there!)

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.

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