Earth Album

Ever wonder what people do with their free time in other parts of the world? Earth Album allows users to navigate photos taken from around the globe, all from the comfort of their own homes.

It’s quite an interesting concept. The site actually doesn’t host any of its own pictures, but instead references them from Flickr. Earth Album uses Google Earth in its Hybrid Satellite View to “mashup” said images with the coordinates on the earth. Simple in theory, beautiful in execution.

Using Earth Album, it becomes immediately clear that you’re not just getting the watered-down, stock images of the mainstay temples and pyramids in other lands (sights we’ve become all-too-accustomed to seeing when viewing such photos).

In my first few minutes of exploring, I was pulling up images of lightning striking outside the bedroom window of one lucky Finnish photog. I witnessed people diving from docked ships in Kazakhstan, and some amazing dirt bike racing in Bolivia. I even caught the tail-end of a wedding in Iraq.

Generally, zooming and clicking serves as the main source of navigation. However, you can also search by keywords and find things like rivers and mountains. In this case, Earth Album seems to be picking up cues from titles and captions.

And it’s no surprise the site has made Time Magazine’s Top 10 Websites of the Year.

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