Courtesy of Londonist, check out the fascinating Digitally Distributed Environments. It’s the blog of Andy Hudson-Smith, from University College London’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis. He can take historic information about a city, in this case London, and import it into Google Earth to see how London would look if it still retained some historical features, buildings, etc. Boundless human ingeneuity.
One great example is the overlay of 1690 London into Google Earth (note also the correction in the comments and a follow-up post). Andy notes the shifting of the shape of the Thames due to the contruction of the Embankment. I am particularly interested in this because I know London pretty well; one of my favorite things to do is to wander its streets and see what I stumble upon. Combine that with my love of the rich geographic detail of London in Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, and I think that means that this site is a place where I could spend hours and hours.
If you like maps and history, and London, do check it out.