Google Earth is a free utility that lets you search for nearly any location in the world, then shows you the location in 3D. For example, enjoy a virtual 3D tour of downtown Seattle starting at the Creativetechs office (although 3D New York is much more interesting).

Google Earth gives you driving directions, maps, and statistics about the area, and lets you zoom and swoop around the world in real time. It can also overlay an amazing amount of information, including roadways, political boundaries, points of interest, local amenities, and information from other Google Earth users. You can also add your own notes.

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Source: This tip comes from the February 2006 issue of Design Tools Monthly, a newsletter for Macintosh-based graphic designers that summarizes tips and news from a wide number of magazines and websites. Creativetechs clients with a Priority Support Relationship can download a PDF of the latest issue of Design Tools Monthly from our Members Only website.