Saturday, September 17, 2005

Flying over Africa with Google Earth and National Geographic

I'd mentioned earlier that Google has web National Geographic's Africa flyover to Google Earth.

Today, using the map from the Natl Geographic Sept 2005 supplement I tried it out. Here's one link I followed up on:
Megaflyover @ National Geographic Magazine

The houses, like others we have seen in the older parts of the western side of the Djado Plateau, are built from blocks of salt collected in the oasis. They were stacked into an unbelievably complex maze. The houses without roofs reveal room after room, some only a few feet square, hundreds of rooms. What they were used for is beyond me. Like other old habitations, this one looked like a ghost town. There were no people milling around or pots and pans around fireplaces or clothing hanging on lines. These old salt castles are fast melting into the desert they came from. Newer towns are built of mud brick and have satellite dishes and telephones.
I thought they'd have a larger volume of higher resolution images, but this is all still miraculous to an old timer like me.

I'd like to talk with someone who lived in a solt village, but I probably never will. (Though there are probably only six degress of separation between that villager and me.)

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