Thanks to Google, You Can Dive-Bomb the Cherry Creek Mall

Tech geeks have lately been calling Denver one of the most detailed 3D cities around. Probably thanks to Mapquest being based here (not to mention a new in-town Google office) our fair city has become one of the testing grounds for fancy new three-dimensional map environments. What does that mean for those of us who don't use hard-core mapping technologies in our daily lives? Nothing, save for the fact that we can turn the Mile High City into a video game!

That's right. Hidden inside the Google Earth program is a nifty flight simulator. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the program, hit Ctrl+Alt+A if you're using a PC (or Command+Option+A on a Mac) and you'll get to the option to cruise through the municipality of your choice in either a SR22 four-seater, or, for the Maverick wannabes out there, a F16 Viper. Then the sky's the limit. Take off from Denver International Airport, or, for those recklessly nostalgic for our city's original airport, try getting airborne from the Stapleton development. Then buzz the 16th Street Mall. Play chicken with the Cash Register Building. And wrap it up with a picture perfect landing in the middle of the Civic Center. If only our real morning commute could be this fun. -- Joel Warner

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Sean Cronin