Surf the Moon Google Style. This is too cool! Have become a map fanatic lately with all the free tools like Google Earth and the Maps interface on Google and several other search engines, so this just adds to the fun. Google has annouced today "In honor of the first manned Moon landing, which took place on July 20, 1969, weíve added some NASA imagery to the Google Maps interface to help you pay your own visit to our celestial neighbor." The images are courtesy of NASA according to Google, and the particular area covers the exact spots astronauts made their landings in 1969. The area covered on Google Moon is not exactly large but their are zoom capabilities and all points of the Apollo missions are uniquely highlighted so you can trace the exact spots. Google has indicated that they are only displaying what NASA has given them. No driving direction yet either as I can tell. :-)
According to more information from Google the Google Moon project is a result of the Google Copernicus Center. Since I last heard they have been on a forever long hiring streak. The moon office and Google has indicated the following release:
"We usually donít announce future products in advance, but in this case, yes, we can confirm that on July 20th, 2069, in honor of the 100th anniversary of mankindís first manned lunar landing, Google will fully integrate Google Local search capabilities into Google Moon, which will allow our users to quickly find lunar business addresses, numbers and hours of operation, among other valuable forms of Moon-oriented local information."
If you wondering whether you can zoom into the surface of the moon, Google has stated you will have to find out what happens when you do. :-)