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 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?