Fly Throug Space and Dive to the Depths of Oceans
View the Streets in Stunning 3D
The latest version of Google Earth continues to set the mapping paradigm. Accessible enough for casual users, Google has added features that make it a necessity for those whose topographic desires are more serious. Although Google Ocean is the big newsmaker in version 5, you can also check out the surface of our nearest neighbor, Mars, as well as incorporating historical Earth maps.
If you’ll forgive the pun, the oceanic maps are pretty cool. They provide the capability to plunge to the floor of the sea, view exclusive content from the BBC and National Geographic, and explore shipwrecks like the Titanic in 3D. Exploring the Martian surface is limited to data provided from NASA, but that’s not much of a limitation considering that it’s unlikely that most of us will ever get to visit the Red Planet. Switching between Google Earth, Sky, and Mars can be done from the menubar or from the planet icon on the toolbar.
Most of the interface’s real estate displays a rendering of the globe, which can zoom in on a satellite image of your destination once you’ve keyed it in. Controls live on a top toolbar and a left-side navigation window that lets you quickly jump between different views and locations. Google’s Street View, real-time illumination of the Earth, roads, restaurants, and even crime statistics can be displayed. Smooth integration with Google’s 3D rendering program SketchUp means that you can design buildings and see how they’d interact with their surroundings on the fly.
The only downside to the program is that it can consume a large amount of RAM, so older machines might experience performance issues, but even that can now be configured through the Options menu. Everyone else is bound to love Google Earth, both as an entertaining novelty and an informational tool.
• A free version with limited functionalities
• With additional functionalities (discontinued)
• A version for commercial use (It approximately costs 400$ per year)
Google Earth is re-released during 2005, and it can be used in desktops / laptops that run Windows 2000 and later, Linux 2.6 and later, MAC OS 10.3.9 and later. Recently, Google Earth is released as a plug-in in the browsers on may 28th 2008. On October 2008, mobile users can also access with this application on I-phone Operating System. It is also a free application, which can be downloaded from App Store. Android users can easily download this application on the Android market for free. While releasing the updated keyhole based client, Google has added imagery from Earth database for its web-mapping software, which is known as the Google Maps.
This application also displays images with various resolutions, where users can view houses and cities clearly. Resolution on lands covers at least 15 meters and larger part of lands covers 2D images in vertical photography. By using this application, users can view streets, sky, moon, mars, and oceans.
DEM (Digital Elevation Model) with NASA’s STRM (Shuttle Rader Topography Mission)
Google Earth also uses DEM data, which is collected by STRM. With this feature, the whole earth can be viewed in three-dimensions. Since November 2006, users can also view several mountains, including the Mount Everest in three-dimensional views.
It basically displays satellite images of the Earth’s surface. Imagine the possibilities it can give you. You can take a look at places without even going there; you can get directions of how to get there and many more. Actually, these images have been used in many ingenious ways while changing our perception about the world around us.
Since Google Earth showcases 3d aerial photo shots of any places on earth, you can search for the location of your home, school or office. It’s like you are touring around the world in a virtual kind of way. Isn’t that amazing?
Furthermore, it has an interactive feature, a community showcase that allows anyone around the globe to contribute information for Google Earth’s development. With this, it now has become possible for even the uninhabited terrains of Grand Canyon to be viewed in 3d version. It is because of its zoom slider function that allows a terrain tilt in the view mode.
Google’s new tool comes in different versions. It has a downloadable version free of charge and is perfect for personal use. Its latest versions have more advanced features. The Google Earth plus, for example, has features that involves the use of a GPS device.
GPS Data importation is recognized as points which are categorized either as Tracks, Waypoints or Routes. Track points are paths imported through this application. These points are automatically recorded every so often. Waypoints are generally marked with a name like “home”. The Routes gives directions as to where to go.
Another remarkable version is the Google Earth Fusion. It integrates geospatial data into the Enterprise system via Google Earth server. It supports the generation of Google images and 3d version models. Moreover, it has unique graphical interface that is convenient to use. This newest version displays street level images seemingly similar to Google maps. It gives you a 360 degree panoramic view of city streets in countries like Australia, France, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, United States and other big countries in the world.
Today, Google Earth has been very beneficial in any business industry. It serves as a channel for clients and business companies to meet. It provides street views of business location and directions when the clients try to search them. In the future, expect to see even more ingenious uses of Google Earth.