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Last Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007, 14:53 GMT
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By Kate Russell
Click Webscape-r

Kate Russell gives us her latest selection of the best sites on the World Wide Web.

Google Earth

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Prepare to take a test flight in a little gem hidden inside Google Earth.

Since it first appeared two years ago Google Earth has proved itself a really fun and useful little app. Making use of incredible satellite images it provides users with a bird's eye view of the globe.

But there is more to this than first meets the eye. A little bit of hunting around reveals a flight simulator, which rivals some fully-fledged games in terms of realism.

To get up, up and away, open Google Earth and enter Command+Option+A. This opens up the flight sim option.

There are two aircraft to choose from - an F16 fighter jet - if you fancy tearing up the skies, or the more sedate SR22 prop plane.

A word of warning - flight sims are not for the faint hearted or casual gamers, mainly due to the mass of controls that the player has to get to grips with.

This one is no different although the controls are simpler than say Microsoft flight simulator, there is still a large amount of keys to master before you can become a virtual Biggles.

Once you manage to get though flight school though, the experience is really fun. Flying past real landmarks at the speed of sound brings a new dimension to this top bit of software.

Google Sky

Sticking with Google Earth, the boffins in Mountain View have added another wrinkle to the application; this one however is out of this world.

Google Sky allows users to turn their attention away from planet Earth and towards the heavens.

Using the latest version of Google Earth just look for the switch between the Earth and Sky options on the frontpage toolbar.

Clicking here opens a view of the heavens. There are seven different types of view available.

Constellations is backyard astronomy, allowing the user to look at objects that would normally be visible via small telescopes.

The Hubble showcase - as the name would suggest - includes images taken using the Hubble space telescope.

The Moon view gives an insight into a two-month lunar cycle and the Planets option shows the position of seven planets as they complete a two-month orbit.

The Life of a Star is pretty self explanatory describing a star's formation to its eventual demise as a red giant. And perhaps one of the best options is to take the User's Guide to the Galaxy, which provides virtual tours of outer space.

While this application is not as comprehensive as some of the dedicated space websites, it is still fun and free.


Gyminee

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Now if you think that all of this staring into a PC screen is unhealthy, this site should rectify that.

Gyminee is a fitness and workout tracking site, which allows users to keep a strict eye on their fitness regime.

The site makes use of a couple of visual interfaces, which report back on the effectiveness of your training regime via a number of graphs and diagrams.

The site is still in beta stage but is accepting free testers. It is necessary to enter some login details to join, but once this is complete you are presented with your own profile page, which is reminiscent of a social networking site.

Enter your objectives, from weight loss to muscle growth and the site creates tracking tools appropriate to your goals.

For example, clicking on the locker room tab provides a graph which tracks the user's progress depending on the data added after a workout.

For info on the sort of training regime that might suit you, the workout section contains a library of different programs. Some of these have frightening titles like Killer Abs - but you know what they say? No pain, no gain.

A nice touch is that some workout programs include instructional videos.

Users can also keep a track of their diet via the nutrition tab, and there is an element of social networking in the gym buddies option. This allows users to try and find workout buddies both real and virtual via the forums.




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