Google Earth is giving Olympic fans a view of the China games like they've never seen before.
Google Earth was sent new aerials taken on July 19th, 2008 by Geoeye, just in time for the Beijing Olympics which kick off on August 8, 2008.
The satellite images are quite detailed and go much closer than many other areas on Google Earth. Architectural highlights like the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium are easily identifiable, making a virtual tour of Beijing quite enjoyable.
It's hard to believe how clear the images are and that the cameras managed to capture shots through all the smog! They did, however, enhance places like the Bird's Nest with 3D images using Google 3D Warehouse. Some of these images, like the Water Cube Aquatics Center and Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium, can be seen in the gallery.
What an innovative way to do Olympic site seeing without the excruciatingly long plane ride, hoards of people, and exposure to controversy, not to mention pollution!
"Just enter 'Beijing' in the 'Fly to' search field in Google Earth, and search north about 10 km (6 miles) to see the new stadiums and other facilities," the Google Earth blog says.
Google Earth has covered major global events before, from the Torino Olympics in 2006 to the Tour de France earlier this year. It looks like this could be a critical way in which the world views international venues in the future.
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