A few months ago, Google had purchased Keyhole, a program that allowed you to look at satellite photos of anywhere in the U.S. They allowed users to download it for free for a week or so and play with it. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t until today that I got to see what Google was going to do with Keyhole. In their Google Maps interface, they are now allowing you to get a satellite view of any area, to zoom in and out, and to easily move East/West/North/South of your original location. Look for the option in the upper-righthand corner of the screen. In Keyhole, it took a good long time to get a clear close up view of an area, but Google Maps moves quickly from place to place and is always clear (though you can’t zoom in quite as close as you could with Keyhole). It’s a great move by Google, though I certainly prefer the pictures you can get on A9 (mostly just in cities right now) that give you a person’s-eye-view of a city block, which is much more convenient when you’re looking for a store or restaurant. I’m glad the maps race is heating up. Yahoo has its traffic reports, Google has its Ride Finder (which shows participating taxis and limos in the area), A9 has those great photos, and Mapquest has… ummm… NEW road signs in case you don’t know how to read “right” and “left”. 😉 Well, at least we have a few good options now, and things seem to be getting better every day.