Computer: Web Technology
Vivaldi Google Earth   (+25)  [vote for, against]
4 seasons, all of time viewing

Harness the power of Google Earth and add in the 4th dimension, time.

With the 4D earth and a macro level, a user could wind back history and see their town, county or country in the Jurassic and witness seas and mountains, rise and fall. Watch Gondwanaland form and dissolve.

At the microlevel, a user could see the Swiss ski slopes in Summer, or the beaches of the Carribean in Winter.
-- jonthegeologist, Jan 05 2007

A bit like this? time-lapse_20maps_3a_20chronocartography
[angel, Jan 05 2007]

A Google Maps Image (currently)showing pronounced evening shadows.,0.008358&t=k&om=1
It would be really cool to see how the shadows on the surface wheel about as the day progresses. [zen_tom, Jan 05 2007]

Two seasons, anyway http://www.theregis..._earth_two_seasons/
Summer and Winter co-exist in Canada on Google Earth [mwburden, Jan 05 2007]

Google Historical Maps
[BunsenHoneydew, Jan 07 2007]

Mapparium the CD Rom Mapparium_3a_20the_20CD_20Rom
similar idea, but for human history instead of geological history [bungston, Feb 13 2008]

Nice - although the coverage of the Earth's surface by satellite imaging was less comprehensive in the Jurassic era.
-- hippo, Jan 05 2007

I suppose, in time, with the satellite imagery continually updated every few months or so, there will at some point be a huge repository of images that could be used to bake this in real life - obviously, it wouldn't be able to show conditions prior to the footage being collated (as [hippo] rightly points out) - but it would be interesting to see how an area changes over the course of a year, or over a number of years. [+]
-- zen_tom, Jan 05 2007

But isn't there enough data/theories to make a good guesstimate about what the world was like during all its different eras?

I'm not assuming it would be perfect, and as long as that was clearly stated, this would be pretty cool to surf around.

At the very least I could see what things looked like before development.
-- PollyNo9, Jan 05 2007

And big stomping footprints +
-- skinflaps, Jan 05 2007

There are a few places where Google Earth shows more than one season at a time (see link)
-- mwburden, Jan 05 2007

I love that seasonal one, and I'd love to see a time (decade/century/millennial) control
-- Dub, Jan 07 2007

If we can wind it into the future and check out various climate projections [+]. Oh hell, [+] anyway. I want this. Someone go and bother Google until they build it.

In the future Google Earth, the 5th dimension could be a "severity" metric for climate change predictions.

Wind it even further into the future to see projected continental drift.
-- BunsenHoneydew, Jan 07 2007

//Someone go and bother Google until they build it.//

Looks like they've already started. [link]
-- BunsenHoneydew, Jan 07 2007

Complete with Pangea?
-- RayfordSteele, Jan 07 2007

I just had this idea too. What a splendid brain you have jtg.
-- DrBob, Feb 27 2007

It would be cool to get real time sea level changing effects so the contours on the mountaintops would be fluxuating up and down with the tides.
-- quantum_flux, Feb 13 2008

+ can anyone dumb it down for me and explain the Vivaldi connection? I know Vivaldi, somewhat. I would probably recognize some of his compositions, but not be able to pick them out against others - except that one.

Is it because that one composition starts so slowly & then speeds up? (I hate that one. I listened to it blindfolded for several hours one time. I hate it.)
-- Zimmy, Feb 14 2008

His best-known composition is probably Il Cimento dell' Armenia e dell'invenzione (Trial of Harmony and Invention), part of which is titled 'The Four Seasons'.
-- angel, Feb 14 2008

Anyone remember NASA's World Wind? It was before Google Maps and Google Earth. It was a 3D thing.

I think it's still around. But they had time lapse of Lake Ural, and some other parts.
-- mylodon, Feb 14 2008

It is pointless if the 4th dimension can only be viewed with a positive coefficient. We need to find mirrors to show all of Earth's existance.

Let us assume we want to see what Earth was like in the year 8 C.E. If we find a mirror 4000 light years away, we could presumably capture a 2000-year-old image from that mirror.

The mathematics of matching a point in such an image to a location on our planet across the plane of time seems complex but not impossible.
-- ed, Feb 14 2008

How about these microlevel options... your favorite athletic stadium either on game day or completely empty... at the Bonnaroo/Burning Man sites either packed with revelers or completely empty... any (very) large crowd with the ability to mousover to discover what the situation is (protest, parade, etc).
-- Gamma48, Jun 18 2009

ed, um, that would be 8000 years in the past, not 2000, with a 4000 light-year mirror.
-- RayfordSteele, Jun 18 2009

random, halfbakery