That Roman Villa Discovery Story

I’m totally the last person to be reporting this. A couple of weeks ago, Ogle Earth pointed to the story of Italian blogger Luca Mori (whose site seems to be down at the moment), who used Google Maps and Google Earth to discover the ruins of a Roman villa on his propertyin his area. A neat story, and a neat use of the software, I thought to myself, and filed it away in the hmm-that’s-interesting-but-I’m-behind-on-sixteen-other-entries-I-need-to-write-first part of my brain. Then Nature picked it up (the link is now behind a pay wall — that’s how late I am — but it was short and a sizeable excerpt was quoted on Boing Boing, whence via). Now, more recently, the BBC has picked up the story (and their links don’t expire; via Things Magazine). It’s a sign of how tremendously interested the media (and possibly, by extension, the public, but let’s not jump to conclusions) has become in mapping technologies, and represents how much Google Earth/Maps usw. have insinuated themselves in the Zeitgeist of the moment. Between this and their use during the hurricane crises in the U.S. — where analysts were using Google Earth live in the studio as a visual aid — is there any doubt that computer mapping has finally arrived? Remember, you read it here last.