Navigation & Mobility


Google Earth and Google Maps

Through Europe within one hour

To travel trough Europe within five days is the aim of some tourists. But it is possible to do so even faster: within one hour – using Google Earth. Of course, both can be scrutinized, but who expected ten years ago that there would be pictures of such a quality accessible for everybody in the internet? Due to Google Earth everybody becomes a specialist of geodesy. The only question which remains is: What is the meaning of 53º 33' 23" N and 13º 14' 41" E?

Why does a textual search engine like Google put aerial- and satellite pictures and maps in the internet, without any costs and in free of advertising? The idea was created by a small company which was bought by Google in 2004. Google Earth owns an enormous worldwide detail resolution, even though it is lower in desserts and the Antarctic than in big cities like New York, London or Berlin. Even the sea surface or the moon can be regarded. No matter where you live in Germany, everybody can find his house using Google Earth.

Are you looking for certain places, cities, addresses, a university, a company or the next café? Using Google Earth you will find them fast and easy. You can mark them and send it to your friends. To download something and the usage are simple. Control tools are used to navigate. So called Overlays are particularly useful. Overlays are meta data and marks of background informations, icons, detail pictures and 360°-panoramic images or links.

The Overlay “Global Thinking” refers for example to places which were hit or are threatened by environmental disasters. Areas which should get our special attention are fixed by Landmarks. It is impossible to describe the magnitude of all the functions provided by Google Earth using a few paragraphs. You can also find a flight simulator, Google Sky, functions which inform you about the solar altitude and 3D-views of buildings and single cities. Currently, there are cars with cameras driving through the cities to illustrate whole streets in the Web on Google Street View. With a little practice you can also do so: draw a three dimensional building using SketchUp and put it into Google Earth. That is the character of Web 2.0! The difference between Google Earth and Google Maps is the presentation of spatial information as satellite pictures or as maps. The whole data is accessible for free, but not free usable. A similar service compared to Google Earth is for example Nasa World Wind or Open Street Map.

And how about 53º 33' 23" N and 13º 14' 41" E? These are the geographical coordinates given in the unit degree. At the very bottom of the window of Google Earth you can find the companies which own the copyright of the pictures used for the remote sensing. Additionally, the actual viewing height and the recording date are written there.

Are there still open questions now? Then you will get to know everything else in attending lectures of geomatics!

Climate & environment

What happens where while it is getting warmer? How does our environment change? Where does sea level rise come from? Are the continents drying out? Are the continental plates still sliding on top of each other as they did in the past? - Geomatics engineers measure changes and answer questions.

Real estate

Everyone has seen geomatics engineers in the field. Using their instruments they sometimes work at the roadside. Car drivers slow down, thinking of speed control. Children stop by craving for the colorful security jackets. - But what are the engineers really doing there?

Technology & industry

How is it possible that we don't miss each other when boring a tunnel from two sides? Why is the shelf at home always crooked but the 300 m high building bolt upright? - Because geomatics engineers take care of it.

Navigation & Mobility

In the past, the front passenger said: "There should be a right turn soon". Today, this is not enough anymore. Dead-ends, new roundabouts, nearby points of interest – a modern navigation system seems to know everything. - If it does, this is just due to geomatics…