as if many of us need more inspiration or additional places to add to our growing lists, but here are two free ways to spice up your computer and get you even more intrigued and excited about this planet we live on.
windows 7 and 8 themes (sorry mac users; i can’t help you)
note: the majority of these will only work with Windows 8 (heh), but some will also work with Windows 7 as well.
Windows Themes are sets of backgrounds, window colors, and sometimes sounds that you download and install (it happens automatically) as a complete package. note that installing a theme will change your current background, so if you have a favorite travel pic (or a cute one of your child) there now, think twice before you click a Download link.
two sections are probably of the most interest, though there is some overlap between them:
places & landscapes
the background images will rotate through all in the set but when you get tired of them, there are dozens (and dozens) more to choose from. besides going directly to the themes website from here, you can always pull this up by pressing the Windows key to pull up the Start Menu, then just type “theme” (on the keyboard). a search pane will appear; choose the “Get more themes online” and you’ll jump to the website where you can download to your heart’s content.
earth view from google maps
if you’re using Google Chrome (which, imho, you should be), you can get an extension that will change what you see when you open a new tab. rather than a Google search window or the list of Chrome apps you have installed, you’ll see a full-size image from Google Maps satellite view. it’s not a random pick of places, but a (huge) curated set of visually-enticing places from miles in the sky.
you can pull up Google Maps for what you’re looking at by clicking the location name or earth in the lower right corner, and you can access your Apps list by clicking “Apps” (of course) in the upper left.
such beauty every time you open a new tab! (or, you can just hit Reload and it’ll bring up another.)
p.s. that’s Lyon–Saint Exupéry Airport, in case you’re wondering, starring a very Calatrava-esque canopy by my favorite architect.