A Chinese Google Earth?

Shortly after the Chinese New Year, China’s Survey and Mapping Bureau announced that it would be making a Chinese counterpart to Google Earth. Chinese cities (typical resolution 240 meters) and many geographical features (8000 meter resolution) are much fuzzier on Google Earth than are North American areas. geoglobe_1.gif
geoglobe_2.gif But such a sudden move for increased “transparency”? Google Earth has attracted USD 1 billion in advertising revenue, so India and other countries are trying to develop their own “Google Earth” type platforms. Geo Globe should enable Chinese companies to create China’s own “Google Earth.
Google Earth has shown Chinese government agencies that releasing geographical data can be very useful for civilian purposes as long as it does not harm national security…and brings in money.