Piecing together the surface of the planet
I have previously referred to my passions for photography and cartography/GPS and how the two come together in the discipline of geotagging.
We have yet to see if the Google Maps service, providing satellite photos of the surface of the planet, will be affected by governments worried that secret installations are exposed to a worldwide audience. (See if you can find the Yongbyon nuclear research facility in North Korea.)
Aerial photos offer better resolution than Google Maps'. Amateur aerial photos may prove to be the next step in increasing the quality and update frequency of maps with real visuals. Photographs from window seats on scheduled flights could be geotagged and stitched together to form a canvas of the Earth's surface.
Through the lens of Doc Searls' camera, more than 1,000 photos from the air are avaialable on flickr, where a group is dedicated to the purpose.
Besides being useful for navigation, education and planning, there is something inherently fascinating about images of Earth from above.