Everyone knows that Google Earth imagery and 3D terrain are unbelievably cool and fun to explore. But while you're flying around, have you ever wondered what is actually going on "down there" -- on the real earth? That narrative of living on this planet is portrayed in the new Featured Content for Google Earth. Accessible from the "Featured Content" folder in the Google Earth Layers sidebar, these new layers contain images, audio, video, stories and information about events unfolding around the globe.

In our September installment, follow the daily exploits of "Flirt" and her kindred Tanzanian chimpanzees in The Jane Goodall Institute's "geoblog"; fans have called this a "Chimp Soap Opera." Or go on a virtual safari in South Africa's Kruger Park -- or maybe you'd like to learn about how the locals in Reykjavik, Iceland relax in molten-lava-heated pools. Explore more than 10,000 miles of trails (in full 3D) in the U.S. National Parks, and find an idyllic lakeside camping spot in the backcountry of Yosemite. Visualize the global story of the earth itself, and how our environment has changed over the past 30 years -- or travel back in time to the Valley of the Kings in Egypt to discover the gold treasures of King Tut's tomb.

This first installment of Featured Content features six of the world's seven continents. (We fully expect that Antarctica will have a story or two coming up.)

By some accounts, nearly half of the information on the web actually relates to a place on earth. We'd like to help you find the best of that information and place it in the visually compelling context of our beautiful planet.