You may (or may not have) heard that Google now gives away their professional version of Google Earth:
You don’t even have to fill out the form. Just download, install, and sign in with your email address and the password GEPFREE
This is a great tool for fiction writers who want to explore the setting of a scene in a place that you may not have visited in a while (or have never visited). The Pro version includes street view, but here’s where it’s a plus: the street view pictures are very high resolution. Example below…
That’s the tree I grew up in, in front of the house that burned down a week before my dad died. There was quite an elaborate tree house in that tree back in the 1970’s. The resolution of this photo is 24 megapixels, the same as if I’d snapped the picture with my very own DSLR.
While I no longer believe Google is going by it’s “Don’t be evil” mantra, at least they’re still giving us some pretty cool tools.