Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, October 29, 2004

Watch The World From The Sky: KeyHole

I am really impressed. I have just downloaded, installed and tested out for a few minutes Google's new acquisition which is getting headlines everywhere.

KeyHole, this is the name of this Windows-only software, is a powerful image navigation device leveraging a world-over scenery of satellite imagery covering the whole planet.

Not only, KeyHole integrates an extraordinary amount of data relative to roads, borders, cities, and down to gas stations, pharmacies or Italian restaurants that can be dynamically superimposed on any "view".

Flying above the world at high altitude and then diving down to a few hundred feet above the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco is something absolutely stunning.

KeyHole renders satellite imagery dinamically, retrieving more detailed data as you zoom closer and closer to your destinations.

Unfortunately, only a few world locations have high resolution data available, leaving me in the cold, at about 8,000 feet when I want to go and check more closely to Cayo Largo (Cuba) or the village of Tucacas inside the marvelous National Park of Morrocoy (Venezuela).

The entire globe is captured at a 1 KM resolution, with a limited set of high resolution insets listed in detail here.

In my personal tests I found out that for Rome, where the digitized resolution is 2 feet, allows me to fly down to about 6-700 feet above ground without loosing focus. On the other hand, the lovely island of Koh Samui in Thailand, though it is rated for a digitized resolution of 0.7 meter, gets out of focus as soon as I fly below 35,000 feet.

For what relates to the US, you can get down to about 500 feet above the ground anywhere and have a pretty sharp view of what is down there, including whether your car is really parked in front of your house, or what kind of traffic is awaiting you on the way home.

While Keyhole does cover the entire globe with satellite imagery and it provides you with access to over 8 terabytes of satellite image data, KeyHole does not have high resolution imagery for the entire globe.

KeyHole has focused for now on larger, US metropolitan areas and will be adding much broader coverage in high-resolution detail over the coming months.

What really must be underlined is that in addition to covering over 80+ major metropolitan areas and thousands of individual cities, Keyhole's database includes access to millions of dollars worth of satellite imagery, aerial photography, elevation data, street vectors, business listings and other databases merged together and available for instant access.

Here is the perfect marriage of digital imaging and XML data!

Every single view can be saved, recorded and "played back" anytime you wish.

While "flying" you can easily zoom, rotate and even tilt the view of the terrain, while maintaining full control of what information overlays are displayed on the map. Movies of the fly-over animations can be saved and utilized to make extremely effective presentations.

This is just amazing.

I need more time to learn, understand and look into its possible applications, but for now I would surely recommend that you download the free 7-day try-out right here.

Certainly a wonderful learning tool for the young and a mind-bloggling cybertool for the wired digital professional.

KeyHole comes in three different versions.

KeyHole LT for Personal Use is USD $ 29.95.

KeyHole NV for Nvidia Graphics card users is USD $ 24.95.

KeyHole Pro 2 costs USD $ 599.
Only the Pro version allows importing and overlay of your personal imagery, maps, high resolution printing, movie making, and several other advanced features.

Highly recommended.



Readers' Comments    
2005-01-09 00:18:29


hi I dont know what I say after visit this tecnology. This is like dream sleep.may be Iam sleep. However I live in Iran and we have not credit card for buy, I would like have this program in my PC. Could you kindly send to me password for use this more from 7 days.

With best regards

posted by Robin Good on Friday, October 29 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.




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