So my riddle was silly and too easy. Ok, it was the Earth, South America to be more precise, and Chile to be even more accurate. My point was simply to illustrate how extraordinary our blue planet is, and how abstract Mother Nature manages to become, seen from space. The images were obtained with Google Maps, it’s that easy. Online satellite images on Google Maps are even nicer than those of the PC-based Google Earth, IMHO. They leave me speechless.

So I’ve prepared a little slideshow of some of my favorite views, directly in Google. Keep in mind that a lot of data is being loaded, so slow connections beware, you’ll need patience. However on a fast connection, it’s almost instantaneous. In any case, it’s worth the few seconds wait. You can browse through the overlay slideshow with the upper < and > arrows and close it with the X.

For those of you not yet familiar with the awesome Google Maps (is that possible?), here are a few pointers:

  • Once the page has loaded, you may navigate by simply dragging the map.
  • You can zoom in and out with the mouse’s wheel or by sliding the graphic cursor on the upper left corner.
  • Three main modes are available in the upper right corner: map, satellite (the one I’m offering you) and hybrid which is a combo of the first two. That’s about it.

So click here and prepare to be amazed…

[ Or jump directly to 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Australia 2 3 4 5
Halong Bay
China 2 3 4 5 6
Middle East 2 3 4 5
Africa 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
Past Home Mixing Bowl
Present Home
Utah Arches Bryce
Giza ]

Update: well, it seems that once again IE6 is proving to be crap. As of now, the slideshow will only work correctly in Firefox, and maybe in IE7. Clicking on the above links in IE6 will get you into the slideshow to the point where Google Maps loads but then there is a conflict in the script with Google’s and nothing happens. The quickest fix for now is to right-click on the stopped Google "Loading" page and hit "Refresh"; the map then attempts to load incorrectly in Hybrid mode and you must click on Satellite to finally get it to load correctly. Sorry. I will try to figure out how to work around yet another IE weakness but the bottom line is: people! Switch to Firefox! :-)