When Google Earth first debuted to the public in 2005, it was likely your first experience with robust, navigable satellite imagery of the planet’s surface. The software Google Earth is based on, or was then, however, was not new. Google acquired Keyhole in 2005, and just a few years later, Google Earth was already a cog in our pop culture machine, with millions of users virtually traveling the planet. In 2006, they kicked off the Google Earth Challenge. He’d spent dozens of hours poking around on Google Earth before he spotted this potential wave.