From Earth to the moon

It may not be as romantic as a full moon on a clear summer night as a breeze blows gently through your lover's hair as you stroll down the beach, but it's still sort of cool.

Google Moon, that is.

Google is working on doing for the moon what it has already done for the Earth. Using high-resolution images from NASA, Google is creating maps of the moon ' bright side only ' that include multimedia content illustrating the various landings since the first in 1969.

Google Moon's imagery is not as comprehensive as that of Google Earth, however. For one, you don't get a full spherical view of the moon. And, since human landings on the moon and available imagery for them are restricted to a relatively small portion of the lunar surface, the fully zoomed-out image is of a band of the bright side of the orb.

But as you zoom in, you'll see patches of higher-resolution imagery as well as astronaut symbols holding flags. Hover over a symbol and you'll get an explanation of what content is contained at that location.

We also found that the more you cruise around the very limited portion of this virtual moon for which there is imagery, the more it all starts to look pretty much the same.

Produced with the cooperation of NASA's Ames Research Center, the tool includes panoramic photographs of lunar landings, audio clips and videos, and descriptions of astronauts' activities.

"NASA's objective is for Google Moon to become a more accurate and useful lunar mapping platform that will be a foundation for future Web-based moon applications, much like the many applications that have been built on top of Google Maps," Chris C. Kemp, director of strategic business development at NASA's Ames Research Center, said in a press release. 'This will make it easier for scientists everywhere to make lunar data more available and accessible."

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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