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Liquid Galaxy: Google’s 20% Project

At Google I/O, Google introduced a 20% project, called “ Liquid Galaxy,” to fly through Grand Canyon, leap into low-Earth orbit, and come back down to perch on Great Pyramid of Giza without even breaking a sweat. “We wanted to try visualizing other cool geo displays, so in July, Dan Barcay, modified a Google Earth client so that it would synchronize views across multiple computers. The effect was pretty stunning: all of a sudden, flying around in Google Earth really felt like flying, and exploring ocean trenches was like piloting a submarine. When you splashed through sea surface you cringed slightly, expecting to get wet. You could even command your own lander down to Moon or Mars. It was amazing to all of us how much more impressive Google Earth felt when we were surrounded by screens and able to turn our heads to look around (and even walk around). It felt more like a ride than a computer program, something between an observation-deck and a glass-walled spaceship.”

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