Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Google Earth as a writers tool.

I do a lot of research before and during the writing of my books and Google Earth is a great aid which allows you to visit parts of the world you may never see in person but can speak about in your tale with the credibility of a native of those parts.
The ever growing jumble of the carcasses of dead trees cast upon the beaches of French Guiana, and the absence of the locals who once relied upon them for smokeless firewood to cook with, were discoveries made with the satellite images from Google Earth.

I would add a word of caution only in that the images you see are in no way live, they are at least two years old.

I wrote last year about the small military presence at Cayenne Airport, the four shacks at the end of the runaway with the paint peeling off the corrugated tin roof of each one in the sun and the encroaching rust. The naval detachment had a half dozen Quonset huts and a muddy path leading down to a wooden pier. All a little forlorn.
I revisited Kourou and Cayenne for the next book and I found that much has changed. There are modern buildings with white, heat reflecting roofing panels and a secure hard standing for military aircraft at Cayenne, and in similar fashion the Navy has been upgraded too.
The scene of the battle between the Chinese marines and the French Foreign Legion jungle fighters is a jungle no longer but now a car park for European Space Agency personnel.

Ah well, I haven't any readership out that way and they are after all mere novels, not travelogs.