Google Earth Beta 4 Released : Map Your World

By Posted 2006 Updated   Google

Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to bring you updated geographic information. The latest version of Google Earth 4 has been released in beta form. Several new features have been added that will make your Earth browsing even better. And all this as first anniversary of Google Earth is around.

The Google Blog announced that they are releasing it simultaneously for PC, Mac (universal binary for full performance on both Intel and PowerPC based Macs) and for the first time ever, native support for popular Linux distributions. They have also released versions of Google Earth in French, Italian, German, and Spanish. And this is what should interest you

“we increased our global coverage by about 4X. Google Earth now covers more than 20 percent of the landmass of the entire globe with high-resolution satellite imagery (soon Google Maps will too). When we say “high resolution,” we mean the good stuff: you can see cars, houses, buildings in more than 200 countries and territories. Not every house is covered, only about two billion of them. That’s our best estimate, anyway that about 1/3 of the population of the Earth can now see their homes in high-resolution. Google Earth has had medium resolution global satellite coverage since the beginning. But that was at 15 meters per pixel. This new global coverage was produced in conjunction with our exclusive satellite partner, Digital Globe, and is at approximately 70 cm per pixel. We have even better data for many countries, up to 10 cm per pixel.”

A New UI has caused a new and, we think, simpler user interface. Its easier now to find layers and turn them on and off. The nav panel at the bottom of the screen is gone so more space for actual imagery. Now they support “textured” 3D buildings, meaning the bricks look like real bricks, the glass like real glass, and world looks more real. They also improved the terrain, so peaks and valleys are more realistic.

Google Earth now has built in the smart loading techniques into KML, which means you can overlay large data sets without sacrificing performance. And you can now view KML in Maps by entering the URL for your KML file. Some improvements have been done to GPS support (Google Earth Plus only). Download the best mapping software Google Earth 4 on your desktop and travel the world!


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