before it, Moon in Google Earth is made from a base map of images that is then peppered with interactive features. For Moon, Google created the base map using high-resolution pictures from Japan's Kaguya orbiter, which mapped the moon in unprecedented detail from December 2007 to June 2009.
Color-coded icons on the 3-D globe show users where to access videos, photos, articles, and other additions--including the Apollo 15 picture of dark deposits in the moon's Taurus-Littrow region shown above.
Google created the software as part of a partnership with NASA designed to make the agency's large amounts of data more accessible to the public.
"I hope the [Moon] project will inspire students to dream about other space landings," NASA
deputy administrator Lori Garver said at a press briefing held July 20, 2009, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
"Who knows, one of the students using a kiosk here at the museum today might be the first person to walk on Mars."
Image courtesy Google