Google Earth, the program that allows unprecedented access to detailed satellite views of the earth's surface, is being used to study the topography of the earth in search of ancient ruins. Already, some have used the program to find what they have theorized to be the controversial lost city of Atlantis—time will tell. However, another historian believes he has found multiple historical sites in Saudi Arabia simply by searching for the shapes and forms of ancient tombs and other structures on Google Earth.
This avenue of research has grown useful because many nations don't allow actual excavation for political and religious reasons (Praveen Swami, "Google Earth Finds Saudi Arabia's Forbidden Archaeological Secrets," Telegraph.co.uk, Feb. 4, 2011).
In the realm of biblical archeology, this could prove beneficial for future research because several events in the biblical narrative occurred in areas of the Middle East where biblically oriented excavation may be frowned upon.