Impact of Digital Earth

Critical Response to Satellite and Cyber Visualities: Analyzing Digital Earth

Digital Earth is unlike anything I have ever seen before. It sounds like a great way for people to learn about different parts of the world. It allows you to view a variety of information about any and every country and it’s all in one place instead of having to research the information separately. Digital Earth makes it easy to study and compare countries side-by-side. With a traditional globe there would be no way to encompass all the information that the digital representation allows. A globe physically shows you the location of different places in the world and the routes to get places, but that is the extent of it. Digital Earth would make an excellent study tool for children since the information and location of each country are available to them with the ease of a click.

On page 280 the author presents her argument that instead of the Digital Earth being looked at by the user as “having the world at his/her fingertips,” as it is now, she thinks that it should be “refashioned as an interdisciplinary ‘contact zone’ that will not only extend public access to satellite and computer technologies, but help to erode the science/culture divide” (Parks, 280). I completely agree with that argument; I think that Digital Earth should be viewed as a tool with multiple uses that can act as a crucial aid for research and the learning process for example: it may be a helpful political tool, aid in response to natural disasters, means of educating people, and much more. It could serve as a method to solve problems worldwide by helping to find viable solutions. Regarding it as a tool for a single use, access to satellite information, severely limits its potential as a valuable source that could be used for so much more.