Fun with Maps

By Sebastian Sprenger / February 4, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Thanks to Google Maps and Google Earth, satellite imagery analysis has become a treasured pastime of armchair generals worldwide. But making extensive use of Google Earth images to construct an entire briefing about the technical effectiveness of missile defense systems in Europe -- featuring radar ranges, earth curvature and all -- that's taking it to the next level.

Stanford University professor Dean Wilkening has done just that, and his graphics don't make the proposed Poland- and Czech Republic-based missile shield look good, we reported earlier today.

We can't say whether the plots are meant to be accurate or merely intended to be illustrative. But they sure look cool.

The briefing slides are making the rounds on Capitol Hill and at NATO headquarters in Brussels, we're told. And not for their graphics.