Saturday, April 11, 2009

Google Likes Me

Romantic Times Magazine contacted me recently about doing a blurb for their Web Forum page (to be in the June issue) about what my favorite websites are, as an author or personally. I had to think about it because I do a lot of cyber-surfing. But one that was incredibly useful for writing In Over Her Head (and the others), is Google Earth. Not a website as much as a web program (and I'm not a tekkie, so please excuse me if I call it by the wrong name), I can get lost in it for hours.

And when I started doing the logistics for In Over Her Head (i.e., where is Reel watching from while Erica's getting forced into the ocean at gunpoint, or where can his lair be after she gets shot, etc.) I did spend hours on it.

There is absolutely NOTHING in the North Atlantic ocean floor between the east coast of New Jersey and Bermuda. Flat seabed. Talk about frustrating because it's too many miles to swim to Bermuda. (Why Bermuda? Ah, well, you'll have to read the story to find out, but Bermuda plays an important role in the story and one of these days I'm going to have to do a research trip there ;} )

I did eventually find a few rises in the ocean floor, closer to New York than southern New Jersey and figured Reel could have a place there. Yes, it's out of the way to Bermuda, but it works.

Then I had to figure out how to get them to Bermuda, again without spending days (and pages) of straight swimming with nothing happening but dialogue, then again from Bermuda to the Caribbean. Google Earth has ways to measure distance directly on the screen. It was also great to be able to see the whole ocean floor, find little rises above the surface of the sea that are too small to be inhabited islands, AND to see the landscape of those cays. I could move them around the ocean in a suspended-disbelief manner.

As I said in another interview, Google Earth exists to make my life easier.


10 comments:

  1. Don't you love Google Earth? I've never yet used it for book research, but it's a great tool, and I'll try it out this time.

    Thanks for the tip!

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  2. I have a chapter meeting today so I'll check back in later this evening.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I love Google Earth, too! If you look at my house, you can actually see my horses out in the field. Too cool!

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  4. Judi, I've helped kid with some projects on it and visted the site just because it's interesting. I've not had to use heavy research in this trilogy but my next one I will. I'll have to check out google earth for that one in particular the Western mountain ranges for some of the same reasons you had to for the sea bed, lol! That and maps.

    Congrats on the RT Forum. Very cool. :-)

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  5. I haven't heard of Google Earth. I'll have to check it out.

    Linda

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  6. Haven't heard of it either.

    Thanx for providing another great resource, Judi!

    AC

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  7. A friend turned me on to Google Earth a couple of years ago--and yes, it is fascinating--and to me, amazing to have this information right at our finger tips.

    Who would have guessed it was possible in 1980?

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  8. Oooh, yes, if you haven't checked it out - do! I love "touring" the Eiffel Tower, or visiting the town in Spain where I went to school. I can get lost on it for hours.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. I adore Google Earth. I go visit my old houses, check out where friend's live. It's amazing.

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  10. And there was I thinking Google Earth was just something my husband liked to play with.

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