Mount Everest: The panorama from the top

Back in 1989, Australian climber Roderick Mackenzie become the 271st person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. While up there, he captured a 360 degree panorama of the view from the top, which appears to be the only panorama ever captured up there.

Steven Ho stumbled upon that panorama recently and thought it would be great to compare the panorama to the always-improving terrain of Google Earth. With that in mind, he created an excellent page that uses the Google Earth Plug-in to change your view as you browse around the panorama. It works great!


To learn more about what he’s done and to try it for yourself, visit Steven’s blog. Click the panorama image at the top of the text to enter the panorama/plug-in page. Once you’re inside of it, simply drag the top image around to view any particular area, and the bottom image will stay in sync automatically.

Google Earth: Outreach Developer Grants Program

Over the years, the Google Earth Outreach team has seen hundreds of maps that nonprofits are using to change the world for the better. We’ve also talked to just as many nonprofits who have a great idea for a map they want to create, but don’t have people on their team with enough technical skills to create it.

Today, we’re excited to announce the Google Earth Outreach Developer Grants program, supporting selected projects from eligible nonprofit organizations that are using Google’s mapping technologies in novel, innovative ways to make the world a better place.

Through this program, non-profit organizations from all over the world will have an opportunity to receive up to $20,000 that will help turn their mapping ideas to support their causes into a reality. Numerous nonprofits have already used Google Earth to raise awareness about an issue or cause that demonstrate innovation and creativity. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum and partners created the Crisis in Darfur Google Earth layer, which utilized Google Earth’s high-resolution satellite imagery to document the burning of villages, destruction of communities and livelihoods as a result of the genocide in Sudan. The presentation of refugee stories and testimonials in a map visualization brought 26 times the usual number of visitors to the USHMM’s “How Can I Help?” section of the website.

Charity:Water uses the Google Maps API to show donors precisely where the money they contributed was allocated. After donating, donors receive geographic coordinates to view the location of a well to which they’ve contributed, and they can also view pictures of people accessing clean drinking water as a result of their contribution.

Applications to the Google Earth Outreach Developer Grants program will be accepted until May 26, 2011. More details of the program, project requirements and eligibility can be found on the Google Earth Outreach Developer Grants page.

Google Earth resources for the Japanese Earthquake

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Japan was hit this morning by a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami. There are already a variety of Earth/Maps-related resources to provide information about the quake, and we’ll summarize them here.

The first is Google’s People Finder, a tool that they provide in these types of situations. You can also visit their Crisis Response page for much more information.

Next is also a Google Map showing the location of temporary shelters that have been set up in Japan.


Next is this Google Gadget, which uses the Google Earth plug-in to show real-time earthquake information world-wide.


Next is a map showing earthquake-related Tweets from Japan.


Lastly we have a collection of maps from the US Geological Survey that gives a lot more information about the quake and tsunamis.


If you have more sources of useful geo-related data about the quake, please leave a comment and let us know.