- Politics and Social Issues»
- Politics & Political Science
Congressional District Information Now Available on Google Earth
Find Your District and Candidates
Google Earth is a free product from Google that lets you view satellite images of almost any point on the earth. Easy to use controls allow one to view the earth from the satellite's position in space as well as zero in on specific locations using the camera's telephoto capabilities to pull the image in closer. The resolution of the image varies by location with more famous locations such as Washington, DC coming in clear at a little under 100 feet while for Tucson, where I live, it starts to become blurry when you attempt to pull the image in closer than about 3,500 feet. Of course you can obtain better resolution and more features by upgrading to Google Earth Plus for $20 or Google Earth Pro for $400.
The free version comes with a number of features and Google keeps adding adding more. In addition to overlays for political boundaries and named roads, Google has just added an overlay in the "Layers" tab that lets the user not only see Congressional District boundaries in the U.S. but, by clicking on the red, white and Blue star in a district, you can get a pop-up window with information on all the candidates currently running for that seat as well as links to information about them. There are also links to local voter registration information.
The views in the free version are not in real time, but are stored images that are updated periodically. So, while you can zero in on your back yard and identify the lawn furniture, you can't check to see if the kids are outside playing in the yard when they should be inside doing their homework.
To download the free version of Google Earth go to http://www.google.com/, click on "more>>" and then "even more>>". Google Earth should be the eighth item down in the left column. Once installed you will have your own satellite view of the world.