Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières
The Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières is the French government geological survey which aim is the management of resources, surface and sub-surface risks. It was established in 1959 as a research and consultancy agency from the merging of the Bureau de recherches géologiques, géophysiques et minières and the Bureau minier de la France d'outre-mer, it is under the supervision of the MESR. Its headquarters are located in central Paris and the scientific and technical center is at Orleans; the BRGM employs 1,100 people in its scientific and technical center, including more than 700 engineers and researchers, in 32 regional branches in metropolitan France and overseas territories. The agency is tasked with five functions: scientific research, support for public policies, international cooperation, mining safety, Higher and continuing education. In 1959, the agency was established by a French decree; the BRGM is a product of the union of: The BRGG. Established by Edmond Friedel and Pierre Pruvost in 1941, the BRGG was tasked with the mapping of French sub-surfaces, The BUMIFOM.
After its merger with the French geological survey in 1968 which latter was established in 1868 by Napoléon III, the BRGM was responsible for the surveying and publication of geologic maps of the French territory. The general public can consult the surveyed and published geological maps on the BRGM InfoTerre web portal, as from 12 April 2010, on Android and iOS. In 2002, the BRGM undertook a deep reconsideration of its corporate identity; the field of geology and mining seemed too narrow a scope for its operations. In the same vein, while responding to greater environmental problems such as water pollution, post-mining activities, natural risks, atmospheric carbon dioxide sequestration, waste management, environmental remediation and developing a climate of measurement systems and information, the BRGM adopted the signature, Géosciences pour une Terre durable on 14 January 2003. In 2004, the abbreviation, BRGM, became official; the BRGM undertakes an in-house development of its method of governance, its quality assurance controls by shaping its tasks and funding to the evolutions of the establishment.
This is coordinated with its international scientific partners, including the promotion of international networks. 1941: Edmond Friedel, Director. 1953 à 1959: Pierre Laffitte, CEO of the BRGGM 1960 - 1964: Roland Pré, Chairman. 1964 - 1972: Pierre Signard, Chairman. 1972 - 1979: Yves Perrin, Chairman. 1979 - 1986: Jean Audibert, Chairman. 1986 - 1988: Gérard Renon, Chairman. 1988 - 1992: Maurice Allègre, Chairman. 1992 - 1997: Claude Allègre, Chairman. 1997 - 2003: Bernard Cabaret, Chairman. 2003 - 2009: Philippe Vesseron, Chairman/CEO. 2009 - 2013: Jean-François Rocchi, Chairman/CEO. 2013 to 2016: Vincent Laflèche, Chairman/CEO. Mergers highlighted the chairmanship of Roland Pré; these led to a re-organization of the BRGM. From 1960 to 1962, the BRGM assumed a large proportion of the employees of federal departments of mines and geology of French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa, in 1961, a large part of the activities and personnel of the Department of Geological Surveys and Mines, French Guiana.
Under the chairmanship of Pierre Signard, Roland Pré's successor, a technical and scientific center was established at Orléans-la-Source in 1965. This center was useful in unifying all the BRGM teams, he continued the re-organization of the BRGM. In January 1968, the Geological Maps Office of France and in 1970, the Alsace-Lorraine Geological Survey came under the BRGM's umbrella. Under the management of Claude Beaumont, the term «French: Service géologique national» was introduced in the mining code, he appointed Claude Guillemin as Director of the SGN. It was under his chairmanship that the BRGM took an international focus. A Petroleum and mineral resources crisis arose in 1973 and under the chairmanship of Yves Perrin, the BRGM expanded while carrying out its task of supplying energy and minerals to France. T
Institut géographique national
The Institut national de l’information géographique et forestière Institut géographique national or IGN is a French public state administrative establishment founded in 1940 to produce and maintain geographical information for France and its overseas departments and territories. The IGN depends on the French Ministry of Equipment, Transport and Country Planning and Sea, its missions are fixed by decrees. State subsidies represent 51% of the budget, sales 49%; the IGN runs four laboratories to research geographical information acquisition, production and applications. It runs its own school to teach techniques to its staff and other students: École nationale des sciences géographiques or ENSG; the IGN is responsible for the management and updating of: geodesic and levelling networks, aerial photographs, geographical data bases and maps. It has to lead research, to take part in the standardization process in the field of geographical information, it has to manage ENSG, the documentation service about its products and services.
A group of French public administrations, in partnership with the IGN, establish the Large Scale Reference: orthophoto, cadastral survey and address databases which can be superimposed on all the French territory, with a 1-meter resolution. Covering the whole French territory: topographic maps on the 1:25,000, 1:50,000 and 1:100,000 scales road maps on the 1:250,000 and 1:1,000,000 scales. Maps of foreign countries ICAO aeronautical maps on the 1:500,000 scale for visual flying; the IGN is in charge of the Géoportail. The shop Le Monde Des Cartes at 50 rue de la verrerie 75004 in Paris closed in 2017; the IGN is the successor to the Geographical Service of the Army, founded in 1887 and disbanded in 1940. The old maps produced by the SGA were divided into two batches: one which remained at the Institute and one which joined the military files of Vincennes; the general Louis Hurault, at the origin of these modifications, was the first director of the IGN. He tried, in vain. A law in ten articles is signed the 14 in order to define the functions of the IGN.
The statutes had been signed the 8. This established the national School of geographical sciences in order to train Cartographical engineers. During the Second World War, the IGN became famous for its counterfeiters; the cartographers are indeed experts in penmanship and the material necessary to the production of fake identity papers was available to the Institute. Certain engineers of the IGN were in contact with the services of allied information based in London. In secret, they brought a complete set of maps to London covering France and North Africa in order to replace maps destroyed in a bombardment; the agents of the IGN took an active part in armed resistance in 1943. Several agents were died in action. Between September 1944 and on 8 May 1945, the IGN was under the control of the "provisional government" and most of its personnel and of his services are transformed into "military geographical Service". At the end of the war, the IGN received the thanks of Generals Eisenhower. Between 1945 and 1946, the debate is intense concerning the future of the IGN, last creation of the Third Republic.
A law is signed the 8. It confirms the membership of the IGN to the Ministry of works and create the "geographical Section of staff of the Army", new section in charge of the military map. In 1947, the IGN receives the mission of covering the whole France, but all the dependents’ territories, like North Africa, Western Africa, the countries associated with Indochina and the departments and overseas territories; the task is considerable with more than 12 million km ² being covered. The independence of these countries will have as a consequence the creation of national services in each country. To carry out the aerial survey task, the IGN was equipped in 1948 with several ex USAAF Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses, specially modified for the task, they were based at Creil airfield to the north of Paris. The aircraft were replaced by French-built Hurel-Dubois HD.34 twin engined survey aircraft in the late 1950s. The IGN initiates a period of active co-operation with the majority of these organizations by providing some engineers of the IGN and receive the students of the ENSG who intended to become the executives of the cartographic services of new independent countries.
The activity of the IGN apart from the French territory develops by the control geodesic project, of cartography. 1982 to 1988, the control of a large topometric project and numerical cartography in Riyadh is the occasion to massively introduce digital techniques into the processing production. Publicly owned establishment related to administration since 1 January 1967, it is placed under the supervision of the ministry for Transport, the equipment and the sea. In 1971, the IGN and the CNES form the "Group of research of geodesic space"; this collaboration between the IGN and the CNES continues with the
WorldWind is an open-source virtual globe. It was first developed by NASA in 2003 for use on personal computers and further developed in concert with the open source community since 2004; as of 2017, a web based version of WorldWind is available online. An Android version is available; the original version relied on. NET Framework, which ran only on Microsoft Windows; the more recent Java version, WorldWind Java, is cross platform, a software development kit aimed at developers and, unlike the old. NET version, not a standalone virtual globe application in the style of Google Earth; the SDK includes a suite of basic demos. The WorldWind Java version was awarded NASA Software of the Year in November 2009; the program overlays NASA and USGS satellite imagery, aerial photography, topographic maps, Keyhole Markup Language and Collada files. On May 3, 2019, WorldWind will be suspended and all servers will be unavailable after that date; the SDK will still without any technical support. Community based mitigation efforts for dealing with the shutdown are available at WorldWindEarth.
Though available since 2003, WorldWind was released with the NASA Open Source Agreement license in 2004. The latest Java-based version, was released in December 2016; as of 2015 a web based version of WorldWind is under development and available online. An Android version is available; the previous. NET-based version was an application with an extensive suite of plugins. Apart from the Earth there are several worlds: Moon, Venus, Jupiter and SDSS. Users could interact with the selected planet by rotating it, tilting the view, zooming in and out. Five million place names, political boundaries, latitude/longitude lines, other data can be displayed. WorldWind. NET provided the ability to browse maps and geospatial data on the internet using the OGC's WMS servers, import ESRI shapefiles and kml/kmz files; this is an example of. Other features of WorldWind. NET included support for. X advanced visual effects such as atmospheric scattering or sun shading; the resolution inside the US is high enough to discern individual buildings, houses and the shadows of people.
The resolution outside the US is at least 15 meters per pixel. Microsoft has allowed WorldWind to incorporate Virtual Earth high resolution data for non-commercial use. WorldWind uses digital elevation model data collected by NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, National Elevation Dataset and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer; this means one can view topographic features such as the Grand Canyon or Mount Everest in three dimensions. In addition, WW has bathymetry data which allows users to see ocean features, such as trenches and ridges, in 3D. Many people using the applications are adding their own data and are making them available through various sources, such as the WorldWind Central or blogs mentioned in the link section below. All images and movies created with WorldWind using Blue Marble, Landsat, or USGS public domain data can be modified, re-distributed, used on web sites for commercial purposes. WorldWind can be expanded by using one of many add-ons - small extensions that add new functionality to the program.
Possible types of add-ons: Point layers - simple XML files displaying placemarks as icons Trail layers - paths Line features - XML with a list of points visualized as a line or wall Polygon features - XML with a list of points visualized as a filled polygon Model features - XML used to load 3D textured meshes Place names - specific points that are assigned text labels Image layers - high resolution imagery for various places in the world Scripts - files that control camera movementPlugins are small programs written in C#, VB or J# which are loaded and compiled by WorldWind at startup. Plug-in developers can add features to WorldWind without changing the program's source code; the original recipe for WorldWind was restricted to Windows. NET libraries and DirectX. A new SDK version has been developed in Java with JOGL referred to as WorldWind Java; the latest version was released in December 2016. This new version has an API-centric architecture with functionalities'off-loaded' to modular components, leaving the API at the core.
This makes that it can be used as interchangeably as possible. This refactoring exercise allows WorldWind to be accessed via a browser as a Java Applet. A preview of the WorldWind Java SDK was released on May 11, 2007 during Sun Microsystem's annual JavaOne conference. Since WWj is an SDK, there is no single application; these applications include simple virtual globe viewers, satellite tracker, GIS platforms, photo editor, F-16 simulator, mission planning software and many more. NASA WorldWind SDK Tutorial: This Tutorial was developed by the Institute for Geoinformatics from the University of Münster, Germany, it contains tutorials from setting up an Eclipse environment with the WorldWind API to building polygons from Linked Open Data geographic datasets. It contains important tips from beginners to
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra from 1995 to 2007. Chirac was Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988, as well as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995. After completing his degree at Sciences Po, a term at Harvard University, the École nationale d'administration, Chirac began his career as a high-level civil servant, entered politics shortly after. Chirac occupied various senior positions, including Minister of Agriculture and Minister of the Interior. Chirac's internal policies included lower tax rates, the removal of price controls, strong punishment for crime and terrorism, business privatisation. After pursuing these policies in his second term as Prime Minister, he changed his views, he argued for more responsible economic policies, was elected President in the 1995 presidential election with 52.6% of the vote in the second round, beating Socialist Lionel Jospin, after campaigning on a platform of healing the "social rift".
Chirac's economic policies, based on dirigisme, allowing for state-directed investment, stood in opposition to the laissez-faire policies of the United Kingdom under the ministries of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, which Chirac famously described as "Anglo-Saxon ultraliberalism". He is known for his stand against the American-led assault on Iraq, his recognition of the collaborationist French Government's role in deporting Jews, his reduction of the presidential term from 7 years to 5 through a referendum in 2000. At the 2002 French presidential election, he won 82.2% of the vote in the second round against the far-right candidate, Jean-Marie Le Pen. During his second term, however, he had a low approval rating, was considered one of the least popular presidents in modern French history. On 15 December 2011, the Paris court declared Chirac guilty of diverting public funds and abusing public confidence, gave him a two-year suspended prison sentence. Chirac, born in the Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire clinic, is the son of Abel François Marie Chirac, a successful executive for an aircraft company, Marie-Louise Valette, a housewife.
His great grandparents on both sides were peasants, but his two grandfathers were teachers from Sainte-Féréole in Corrèze. According to Chirac, his name "originates from the langue d'oc, that of the troubadours, therefore that of poetry", he is a Roman Catholic. Chirac was an only child, he was educated in Paris at a private school. He attended the Lycée Carnot and the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. After his baccalauréat, he served for three months as a sailor on a coal-transporter. Chirac played rugby union for Brive's youth team, played at university level, he played second row. In 1956, he married Bernadette Chodron de Courcel, with whom he had two daughters: Laurence and Claude. Claude has long worked as a public relations assistant and personal adviser, while Laurence, who suffered from anorexia nervosa in her youth, did not participate in the political activities of her father. Chirac is the grandfather of Martin Rey-Chirac by the relationship of Claude with French judoka Thierry Rey. Jacques and Bernadette Chirac have a foster daughter, Anh Dao Traxel.
Inspired by General Charles de Gaulle, Chirac started to pursue a civil service career in the 1950s. During this period, he joined the French Communist Party, sold copies of L'Humanité, took part in meetings of a communist cell. In 1950, he signed the Soviet-inspired Stockholm Appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons – which led him to be questioned when he applied for his first visa to the United States. In 1953, after graduating from the Paris Institute of Political Studies, he attended Harvard University's summer school, before entering the ENA, the Grande école National School of Administration, which trains France's top civil servants, in 1957. Chirac trained as a reserve military officer in armoured cavalry at Saumur, where he was ranked first in his year, he volunteered to fight in the Algerian War, using personal connections to be sent despite the reservations of his superiors. His superiors did not want to make him an officer. After leaving the ENA in 1959, he became a civil servant in the Court of Auditors.
In April 1962, Chirac was appointed head of the personal staff of Prime Minister Georges Pompidou. This appointment launched Chirac's political career. Pompidou considered Chirac his protégé, referred to him as "my bulldozer" for his skill at getting things done; the nickname "Le Bulldozer" caught on in French political circles, where it referred to his abrasive manner. As late as the 1988 presidential election, Chirac maintained this reputation. In 1995 an anonymous British diplomat said Chirac "cuts through the crap and comes straight to the point... It's refreshing, although you have to put your seat belt on when you work with him". At Pompidou's suggestion, Chirac ran as a Gaullist for a seat in the National Assembly in 1967, he was elected deputy for a stronghold of the left. This surprising victory in the context of a Gaullist ebb permitted him to enter the government as Minister of Social Affairs. Although Chirac was well-situated in de Gaulle's entourage, being related by marriage to the general's sole companion at the time of the Appeal of 18 June 1940, he was more of a "Pompidolian" than a "Gaullist".
When student and worker unrest rocked France in May 1968, Chirac played a central role in negotiating a truce. As state secr
Metz is a city in northeast France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers. Metz is the prefecture of the Moselle department and the seat of the parliament of the Grand Est region. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France and Luxembourg, the city forms a central place of the European Greater Region and the SaarLorLux euroregion. Metz has a rich 3,000-year-history, having variously been a Celtic oppidum, an important Gallo-Roman city, the Merovingian capital of Austrasia, the birthplace of the Carolingian dynasty, a cradle of the Gregorian chant, one of the oldest republics in Europe; the city has been steeped in Romance culture, but has been influenced by Germanic culture due to its location and history. Because of its historical and architectural background, Metz has been submitted on France's UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List; the city features noteworthy buildings such as the Gothic Saint-Stephen Cathedral with its largest expanse of stained-glass windows in the world, the Basilica of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains being the oldest church in France, its Imperial Station Palace displaying the apartment of the German Kaiser, or its Opera House, the oldest one working in France.
Metz is home to some world-class venues including the Arsenal Concert Hall and the Centre Pompidou-Metz museum. A basin of urban ecology, Metz gained its nickname of The Green City, as it has extensive open grounds and public gardens; the historic city centre is one of the largest commercial pedestrian areas in France. A historic garrison town, Metz is the economic heart of the Lorraine region, specialising in information technology and automotive industries. Metz is home to the University of Lorraine and a centre for applied research and development in the materials sector, notably in metallurgy and metallography, the heritage of the Lorraine region's past in the iron and steel industry. In ancient times, the town was known as "city of Mediomatrici", being inhabited by the tribe of the same name. After its integration into the Roman Empire, the city was called Divodurum Mediomatricum, meaning Holy Village or Holy Fortress of the Mediomatrici it was known as Mediomatrix. During the 5th century AD, the name evolved to "Mettis".
Metz has a recorded history dating back over 2,000 years. Before the conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar in 52 BC, it was the oppidum of the Celtic Mediomatrici tribe. Integrated into the Roman Empire, Metz became one of the principal towns of Gaul with a population of 40,000, until the barbarian depredations and its transfer to the Franks about the end of the 5th century. Between the 6th and 8th centuries, the city was the residence of the Merovingian kings of Austrasia. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, Metz became the capital of the Kingdom of Lotharingia and was integrated into the Holy Roman Empire, being granted semi-independent status. During the 12th century, Metz became a republic and the Republic of Metz stood until the 15th century. With the signature of the Treaty of Chambord in 1552, Metz passed to the hands of the Kings of France; as the German Protestant Princes who traded Metz for the promise of French military assistance, had no authority to cede territory of the Holy Roman Empire, the change of jurisdiction wasn't recognised by the Holy Roman Empire until the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.
Under French rule, Metz was selected as capital of the Three Bishoprics and became a strategic fortified town. With creation of the departments by the Estates-General of 1789, Metz was chosen as capital of the Department of Moselle. Despite that Metz was a French-speaking city, after the Franco-Prussian War and according to the Treaty of Frankfurt of 1871, the city was annexed into the German Empire, being part of the Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine and serving as capital of the Bezirk Lothringen. Metz remained German until the end of World War I. However, after the Battle of France during the Second World War, the city was annexed once more by the German Third Reich. In 1944, the attack on the city by the U. S. Third Army freed the city from German rule and Metz reverted one more time to France after World War II. During the 1950s, Metz was chosen to be the capital of the newly created Lorraine region. With the creation of the European Community and the European Union, the city has become central to the Greater Region and the SaarLorLux Euroregion.
Metz is located on the banks of the Moselle and the Seille rivers, 43 km from the Schengen tripoint where the borders of France and Luxembourg meet. The city was built in a place where many branches of the Moselle river creates several islands, which are encompassed within the urban planning; the terrain of Metz forms part of the Paris Basin and presents a plateau relief cut by river valleys presenting cuestas in the north-south direction. Metz and its surrounding countryside are included in the forest and crop Lorraine Regional Natural Park, covering a total area of 205,000 ha; the climate of Lorraine is a semi-continental climate. The summers are warm and humid, sometimes stormy, the warmest month of the year is July, when daytime temperatures average 25 °C; the winters are snowy with temperature dropping to an average low of − 0.5 °C in January. Lows can be much colder through the night and early morning and the snowy period extends from November to February; the length of the day varies over the course of the year.
The shortest day is 21 December with 7:30 hours of sunlight. The median cloud cover is 93% and
President of the French Republic
The President of the French Republic is the executive head of state of France in the French Fifth Republic. In French terms, the presidency is the supreme magistracy of the country; the powers and duties of prior presidential offices, as well as their relation with the Prime Minister and Government of France, have over time differed with the various constitutional documents since 1848. The President of the French Republic is the ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra, Grand Master of the Legion of Honour and the National Order of Merit; the officeholder is honorary proto-canon of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, although some have rejected the title in the past; the current President of the French Republic is Emmanuel Macron, who succeeded François Hollande on 14 May 2017. The presidency of France was first publicly proposed during the July Revolution of 1830, when it was offered to the Marquis de Lafayette, he demurred in favor of Prince Louis Phillipe. Eighteen years during the opening phases of the Second Republic, the title was created for a popularly elected head of state, the first of whom was Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, nephew of Emperor Napoleon.
Bonaparte served in that role until he staged an auto coup against the republic, proclaiming himself Napoleon III, Emperor of the French. Under the Third Republic and Fourth Republic, which were parliamentary systems, the office of President of the Republic was a ceremonial and powerless one; the Constitution of the Fifth Republic increased the President's powers. A 1962 referendum changed the constitution, so that the President would be directly elected by universal suffrage and not by the Parliament. In 2000, a referendum shortened the presidential term from seven years to five years. A maximum of two consecutive terms was imposed after the 2008 constitutional reform. Since the referendum on the direct election of the President of the French Republic in 1962, the officeholder has been directly elected by universal suffrage. After the referendum on the reduction of the mandate of the President of the French Republic, 2000, the length of the term was reduced to five years from the previous seven.
President Jacques Chirac was first elected in 1995 and again in 2002. At that time, there was no limit on the number of terms, so Chirac could have run again, but chose not to, he was succeeded by Nicolas Sarkozy on 16 May 2007. Following a further change, the constitutional law on the modernisation of the institutions of the Fifth Republic, 2008, a President cannot serve more than two consecutive terms. François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac are the only Presidents to date who have served a full two terms. In order to be admitted as an official candidate, potential candidates must receive signed nominations from more than 500 elected officials mayors; these officials must be from at least 30 départements or overseas collectivities, no more than 10% of them should be from the same département or collectivity. Furthermore, each official may nominate only one candidate. There are 45,543 elected officials, including 33,872 mayors. Spending and financing of campaigns and political parties are regulated.
There is a cap on spending, at 20 million euros, government public financing of 50% of spending if the candidate scores more than 5%. If the candidate receives less than 5% of the vote, the government funds €8,000,000 to the party. Advertising on TV is forbidden, but official time is given to candidates on public TV. An independent agency regulates party financing. French presidential elections are conducted via run-off voting, which ensures that the elected president always obtains a majority: if no candidate receives a majority of votes in the first round of voting, the two highest-scoring candidates arrive at a run-off. After the president is elected, he or she goes through a solemn investiture ceremony called a "passation des pouvoirs"; the French Fifth Republic is a semi-presidential system. Unlike many other European presidents, the French President is quite powerful. Although it is the Prime Minister of France, the Government as well as the Parliament that oversee much of the nation's actual day-to-day affairs in domestic issues, the French President wields significant influence and authority in the fields of national security and foreign policy.
The President's greatest power is his/her ability to choose the Prime Minister. However, since the French National Assembly has the sole power to dismiss the Prime Minister's government, the President is forced to name a Prime Minister who can command the support of a majority in the assembly, he or she has the duty of abritrating the well-functioning of governmental authorities for efficient service, as the Head of State of France. When the majority of the Assembly has opposite political views to that of the President, this leads to political cohabitation. In that case, the President's power is diminished, since much of the de facto power relies on a supportive Prime Minister and National Assembly, is not directly attributed to the post of President; when the majority of the Assembly sides with them, the President can take a more active role and may, in effect, direct government policy. The Prime Minister is the personal choice of the President, can be replaced if the administration becomes unpopular.
This device has bee
Google Earth is a computer program that renders a 3D representation of Earth based on satellite imagery. The program maps the Earth by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography, GIS data onto a 3D globe, allowing users to see cities and landscapes from various angles. Users can explore the globe by using a keyboard or mouse; the program can be downloaded on a smartphone or tablet, using a touch screen or stylus to navigate. Users may use the program to add their own data using Keyhole Markup Language and upload them through various sources, such as forums or blogs. Google Earth is able to show various kinds of images overlaid on the surface of the earth and is a Web Map Service client. In addition to Earth navigation, Google Earth provides a series of other tools through the desktop application. Additional globes for the Moon and Mars are available, as well as a tool for viewing the night sky. A flight simulator game is included. Other features allow users to view photos from various places uploaded to Panoramio, information provided by Wikipedia on some locations, Street View imagery.
The web-based version of Google Earth includes Voyager, a feature that periodically adds in-program tours presented by scientists and documentarians. Google Earth has been viewed by some as a threat to privacy and national security, leading to the program being banned in multiple countries; some countries have requested that certain areas be obscured in Google's satellite images areas containing military facilities. The core technology behind Google Earth was developed at Intrinsic Graphics in the late 1990s. At the time, the company was developing 3D gaming software libraries; as a demo of their 3D software, they created a spinning globe that could be zoomed into, similar to the Powers of Ten film. The demo was popular, but the board of Intrinsic wanted to remain focused on gaming, so in 1999, they created Keyhole, Inc. headed by John Hanke. Keyhole developed a way to stream large databases of mapping data over the internet to client software, a key part of the technology, acquired patchworks of mapping data from governments and other sources.
The product, called "Keyhole EarthViewer", was sold on CDs for use in fields such as real estate, urban planning and intelligence. Despite making a number of capital deals with Nvidia and Sony, the small company was struggling to make payroll, employees were leaving. Fortunes for the company changed in early 2003 when CNN received a discount for the software in exchange for placing the Keyhole logo on-air whenever the map was used. Keyhole did not expect it would amount to more than brief 5 or 10 second prerecorded animation clips, but it was used extensively by Miles O'Brien live during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, allowing CNN and millions of viewers to follow the progress of the war in a way that had never been seen before. Public interest in the software exploded and Keyhole servers were not able to keep up with demand. Keyhole was soon contacted by the Central Intelligence Agency's venture capital firm, In-Q-Tel, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, for use with defense mapping databases, which gave Keyhole a much-needed cash infusion.
Intrinsic Graphics was sold in 2003 to Vicarious Visions after its gaming libraries did not sell well, its core group of engineers and management transitioned to Keyhole with Hanke remaining at the head. At the time, Google was finding that over 25% of its searches were of a geospatial character, including searches for maps and directions. In October 2004, Google acquired Keyhole as part of a strategy to better serve its users. Google Earth's imagery is displayed on a digital globe, which displays the planet's surface using a single composited image from a far distance. After zooming in far enough, the imagery transitions into different imagery of the same area with finer detail, which varies in date and time from one area to the next; the imagery is retrieved from satellites or aircraft. Before the launch of NASA and the USGS's Landsat 8 satellite, Google relied on imagery from Landsat 7, which suffered from a hardware malfunction that left diagonal gaps in images. In 2013, Google used datamining to remedy the issue, providing what was described as a successor to the Blue Marble image of Earth, with a single large image of the entire planet.
This was achieved by combining multiple sets of imagery taken from Landsat 7 to eliminate clouds and diagonal gaps, creating a single "mosaic" image. Google now uses Landsat 8 to provide imagery with greater frequency. Imagery is hosted on Google's servers, which are contacted by the application when opened, requiring an Internet connection. Imagery resolution ranges from 15 meters of resolution to 15 centimeters. For much of the Earth, Google Earth uses digital elevation model data collected by NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission; this creates the impression of three-dimensional terrain where the imagery is only two-dimensional. Every image created from Google Earth using satellite data provided by Google Earth is a copyrighted map. Any derivative from Google Earth is made from copyrighted data which, under United States Copyright Law, may not be used except under the licenses Google provides. Google allows non-commercial personal use of the images as long as copyrights and attributions are preserved.
By contrast, images created with NASA's globe software World Wind use The Blue Marble, Landsat, or USGS imagery, each of, in the public domain. In version 5.0, Google introduced Historical Imagery. Clicking the clock icon in the toolbar opens a time slider, which marks the tim