I love maps and globes. I'm kind of a geography geek and I'm fascinated by history. Spending probably too much time fooling around with Google Earth, it occured to me what a great teaching and learning tool historical globes can be (and already are). Suppose you could look at any year in history and see where the borders, kingdoms, tribal lands, overlapping tribal lands, topography, climate, etc. looked like.
I think Google Earth could be a great platform for building a compendium history of the entire world. What if a group of accredited and *invited* professional and amateur historians who represent a wide range of views and expertise areas could help draw lines, showing us graphically and globally where the Sioux Nation was in 1600, the Carthaginians at the height of their empire, the Han Dynasty at its pinnacle, etc. What about being able to see where different religions dominated and when, ethnicities, etc. and be able to see (probably through color coding and overlapping color coding) how different peoples lived together (and often killed each other). Being able to look at the world so broadly and drill down narrowly (I think) helps us understand the past and present.
This is an idea with legs, and I think its both a great open source project/problem, and economically viable, even as a non-profit.
I think this supports Google's mission of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful. Would Google ever consider seeding such a project?
I think if Google doesn't Microsoft (or Apple or whomever wants to be known in the education market) should seed this kind of project because if successful it will be the reference tool for every classroom in the world (or should be.)
What do you think?