Google have announced another crop of countries to be added to Google Maps, which have all been generated using Google Map Maker.
Map Maker enables locals to “create maps and share their knowledge with the world.”
People around the world not only help keep maps up to date, but also add roads and even new businesses that have not yet been picked up by Google Maps.
Locals can add shortcuts, little known areas of their town or city and even map out areas around institutions such as colleges and hospitals.
Yesterday, user-generated maps from countries such as Afghanistan, Antarctica, Iraq, Honduras and Saudi Arabia were added to Maps.
Ecuador, Georgia, Guatemala, Heard, Norfolk and McDonald Islands and Saint Pierre & Miquelon were also added.
The Georgian government led an initiative in order to improve the map of their country and in Afghanistan, six students mapped out the city of Herat in a matter of weeks, apparently.
To view ongoing map projects, visit Map Maker Pulse. Google ask that interested parties go ahead and get involved in improving the 180 world regions that still need attention.
Google Earth celebrated reaching one billion downloads on Wednesday, including desktop client, mobile apps and browser plugins.
Stories of how the software is used in a variety of interesting ways can be found at One World Many Stories, and include a number of tales which illustrate the versatility and usefulness of the software.
For example, kids will love getting involved with tracking Santa using Google Earth from December 1st.
Using the Google Earth plugin on the NORAD Tracks Santa website, they can follow his journey around the world.
Or using Google Sky, stargazers can view a number of images taken from NASA satellites and the Hubble Telescope.
Entire constellations can be zoomed in on, the planets can be watched in motion, or you may even be lucky enough to witness a supernova explosion.
Whatever the case, Google Earth is a great bit of kit for exploring the globe and stars without leaving your armchair.