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Google Earth is a virtual globe consisting of superimposed satellite images and aerial photographs. Originally developed by Keyhole, Inc., Google Earth was acquired by Google in 2004 and rebranded for public use in 2005. In subsequent years, Google Earth has expanded to include additional features ranging from Sky Mode to Street View to Historic Imagery, to name but a few. Its accessibility and range of applications have made Google Earth useful in several public and private sectors, including real estate, broadcast news, homeland security, educational classrooms, and even natural disaster relief efforts. For the same reasons, however, certain individuals and special interest groups have also criticized the program, citing privacy and security concerns. This entry offers a historical account of the creation, sale, and expansion ...

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