Monday, February 22, 2010

Google Earth Mapping Program Uploads WWII Images

Google Earth, a mapping function of the Google organization, has added an historical imagery feature by using the historical Royal Air Force reconnaissance photos taken during World War II of 35 war-torn European cities such as Berlin, Bordeaux, Hamburg, Cologne and Dresden. Images taken in 1943 show the effect of wartime bombing on more than 35 European towns and cities. If one wants to see the most notable difference, check the historic photos of Warsaw from 1935 to the present day. The images show the heavy destruction caused to the Polish capital during the war, along with the city's infamous ghetto - the largest in Nazi-occupied Europe.

To access all the imagery for yourself, and compare to the present day cityscape, click the clock icon in the top-level toolbar to activate a time-line in the Google Earth display. Move back and forth in time by dragging the time slider from left to right or by clicking the back/forwards arrows. To trace an example, users can track the post-war reconstruction of Warsaw's historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

To access Google earth for this function go to:
http://earth.google.com/tour.html#v=3

Google Earth software is downloadable to your computer from the Google site
and can be accessed from the Google url above.

For more information on this new feature and some sample photos go to:
http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/02/wwii-historical-imagery-in-google-earth.html and click on the photos to open and enlarge.
More on this new feature is included in this news article:
http://topnews.net.nz/content/22018-wartime-images-uploaded-google-earth

Please do not ask me any technical questions on how to use the software or about downloading--I am not a techy!


Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-large and
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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