Shamelessly Obvious Headline Alert: Google Moons Earth
Launching a project after a whopping one week in development, Google announced its extension of Google Maps and Google Earth-Google Moon. The new feature comes on the anniversary of Apollo 11’s July 20, 1969 lunar landing and on the birthdays of two “moon baby” Google employees.
The Google Moon feature also comes with a secret, which I won’t spoil for everyone. But I highly recommend zooming in all the way to get a highly detailed image of the Moon’s surface that may shed light a popular myth.
Google acquired the imagery courtesy of NASA and pinpoints the various touchdown spots of all NASA missions to the lunar surface. In time, it is hoped to also feature the Moon’s 22 seas, 8 Soviet Luna landings, 3 Ranger impacts, and 7 NASA Surveyor landings.
The initiative was limited by time however. Google engineers only had a week to put it together, according to Google software engineer and moon baby, Larry Schwimmer.
Schwimmer, who shares a birthday with the Moon landing, said he made a birthday wish on a Post-it note. Google Earth engineer, Chikai (only name given), was also a moon baby and had worked up a Google Moon demo. Schwimmer said the project was shelved as the company prepared Google Earth.
Eventually their wish came true, but they only had a week to prepare it in time for the anniversary.
“It’s great to stand on the shoulders of giants, especially the brave and brilliant people at NASA we commemorate and whose data made this possible. And it’s energizing to work at a company that can translate a birthday wish into a product in a week,” said Schwimmer.
If you’d like to become part of Google’s lunar research team, there’s a nice job posting for positions at the Google Copernicus Hosting Environment and Experiment in Search Engineering (G.C.H.E.E.S.E.). Relocation is required.