Before you laugh at any of the big geoglyphs for being cartoonish or not anatomically correct — hey, you try it. Don't forget to bring along a really big pantograph.
The first geoglyph I laughed at, thinking it was the result of some late-night revelry by some drunken college kids, turned out be 3,000 years old. It was also the last one I laughed at. Some of them look all new and shiny but only because they're being preserved.
But most of all…
What must truly be appreciated is being able to partake in one of the greatest computer programs ever written; the flight path and rotation it makes when going from one spot to the next. Because it's basing it upon (1) the direction it's currently pointed, (2) the direction it's going to end up pointed, (3) the down angle it's pointed at, (4) the down angle it's going to end up pointed at, and (5) the distance between the two spots, it's basically generating a totally unique pattern every single time it lifts off. If you haven't watched a tour yet, you'll see what I mean. Sometimes you're going forward, sometimes backward, sometimes sideways like looking out the window of an airplane. While the individual spots are certainly interesting, the getting there is equally so.
Before you begin, I'd like you to do one little thing if you've never seen a YouTube Google Earth video before. Please click on this link and watch it for about 30 seconds (you'll love the music change at the 20-second mark), just so you can experience what an average YouTube Google Earth tour is like.
Done? Now you can appreciate how dramatically different the tours on this page are.
These videos are designed to be played in full-screen mode. Click on the little symbol on the tool bar to pop them open. Each tour's title opens a new window with the tour's database for the location of the individual spots.
Animals – Americas
Animals – Eurasia
Commercial – Americas
Commercial – Eurasia
This particular video is pretty wild because it's going back in time for almost every site, so you'll see a lot of strange overlapping backgrounds. It might also be noted that all of these are in Britain, which apparently aliens just adore.
Designs – Americas
Designs – Asia
Designs – Europe
Geometric – Americas
Geometric – Eurasia
Oddities – Americas
Oddities – Asia
Oddities – Europe
Pools & Ponds
Here are a few I whipped up:
These are add-ons that include special files. Titles link to the download site.
Beautiful Lake Deathstar
London Eye Ferris Wheel
Real-Time Airline Tracking
World Driving Standards
Saving The Tours
In case you didn't know, these videos are sitting right there on your computer after you play them, should you want to watch them later. If you're using Internet Explorer, go to the Tools menu, 'Internet options', the first 'Settings' button, 'View files'. In the folder window that pops open, go to the View Menu and select 'Details'. Click on the 'Size' header of the window twice to bring the largest files to the top. You'll see the file listed near the top using its correct name, like "oddities-americas.flv". Copy the file to a safe place.
If you're using Firefox, either dig up a free program called iLivid or just use IE.
FLV is a very proprietary format and not many programs play it. It's used online because it's a multi-platform format and everybody can view them. To play them at home, do this.