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  1. zaphod
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    zaphod Member

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    The power of Google Earth and your setting

    Discussion in 'Research' started by zaphod, Oct 1, 2009.

    The power of Google Earth and researching setting

    So I just lurk this site because I enjoy reading and hope to write something good enough to share one day, not without learning to review first though:D

    Anyways, I've noticed posts about setting, people are asking questions about if their depiction of a town is accurate or not. I have a hobby of playing with Google Earth. My interests are cities, and I am an urban planning major in college. I've learned that you can look for all kinds of signs in the photographs of places.

    So before you post asking about "What is Anytown, USA like for my story?" just look at Google Earth. Download if you don't have it. Once you've got it up, there's not much I can say that isn't obvious. Just use your intuition and your gut feeling. Try and find something that matters. If say, your character is supposed to run into the bad guy walking down the sidewalk, make sure you didn't pick Alpharetta, Georgia where there aren't sidewalks at all much less a place for your character to walk to. But then if you wanted a suburban setting, you might be good.

    I hope that people then looking at real world settings will see this and get some new ideas on how to research. I've learned a lot myself before I travel by studying these aerial image sites like Google maps, the Google earth software, and don't forget Bing Maps with its "birds eye view"

    So yeah...respond away. Anyone as addicted to this kind of thing as I am?
     
  2. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    I am. Not addicted really, but I use it to see places I'd like to visit one day (or use them in writing-the thought was there LOL).
    These images combined with actual photos or videos online can give you tons of information and inspiration.
    Long live the internet!
     
  3. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    I'm self-confessed geography freak so I use Google Earth just for fun.

    As far as settings go, I think authors usually try to go beyond the physical aspects of a place. For me I want to capture the feel of a place. Google Earth is a good starting point, but not the end-all resource.
     
  4. UnknownBearing
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    UnknownBearing Contributing Member

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    My god yes. Google Earth is an amazing visual. It's a great way to plan your story and see the flow of it, especially if you have a kind of plot that's going to travel a little bit within your setting. It still doesn't compare to actually being there, but it's a good start if you can't get to the place you want to be.
     

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