But two of the computer program’s users got an extra surprise when they explored the Dutch city of the Hague - and spotted topless sunbathers. A Dutch blogger looking for his favourite pub accidentally zeroed in on a man wearing just shorts, lying on the roof of a house by a canal. A woman lying face down on a separate rooftop terrace was spied by an unknown browser who mentioned it on an online forum.
The sunbathers found their way on to Google Earth because they were catching a tan when the satellite used for mapping the planet was passing overhead.
Other bizarre sightings include "hovering cars" in Perth and missiles in the deserts of Iraq.