Saturday, January 17, 2009

Google Earth Plus 4.3.7284.3916

Today Google released the latest version 4.3 of Google Earth. Google
added lot more feature in this latest version and with all of the great
user-created buildings in the 3D Warehouse. With the Redesigned
Navigation system you can fly very smoothly from the heavens down to
the streets of your town. The most important feature I like is, you can
view the exact date of a particular satellite image

navigation - Google Earth is a 3D application, but we realized that a
lot of our users never quite got the hang of using the tilt feature to
navigate around 3D features like mountains and buildings. Not only
that, but even for expert users, if you tried to get down to the ground
and navigate at street-level, navigation was cumbersome and confusing.
Well, no more.

We spent a lot of time rethinking how users
interact with 3D data. We realized that when in outer space and far
above the ground, you really want standard map-like controls that allow
you to pan and zoom smoothly. However, if you want to get down to the
ground and check out a city street, you really want a street-level
navigation mode like you'd typically find in a video game.

you want to be able to seamlessly transition between these modes as you
fly down to visit a city and fly back out to space. So we modified the
zoom control. As you get closer to the ground, your view slowly tilts,
almost as if you are parachuting onto the ground. We also added a new
control, the "look" joystick, which allows you to look around. If you
are on the ground, you can change your viewpoint and look up at
buildings, down canyons, or over at the rising sun. If you use the
"pan" joystick when on the ground, you will follow the ground as if you
were walking on it.

More, faster 3D buildings - What good would
fancy new navigation controls be if there wasn't something new to look
at? While we're regularly adding new user-created SketchUp buildings
submitted through 3D Warehouse, we decided to take things up a notch
for this release by including photo-realistic models for dozens of new
cities. Take a spin around Tokyo, Munich, or Boston to get a taste.
We've also significantly enhanced our approach to rendering 3D data to
greatly improve performance and realism.

Here comes the sun -
The world may not be flat, but something about the lighting in the old
Google Earth sure was. If you've gotten tired of seeing everything lit
with the mid-day sun, then we have just the trick for you. Click on the
new sunlight button on the toolbar in Google Earth, click the play
button on the time slider, and watch the sun as it circles around the
globe. Try getting close to the ground and look up at the eastern sky,
and see the sun rise. I'm more of a sunset kind of person, but you can
just look to the west and watch the sun disappear behind the hills too.
While it's no substitute for the real thing, it is great fun to play
around with.

Street View - Ever since we introduced Street View
in Google Maps back in May 2007, people have been asking us when the
same data would be available in Google Earth. Well, that day is today;
using the PhotoOverlay feature available in KML 2.2 (or should I say
the OGC standard KML 2.2,) we have made all of the Street View panorama
photos available as a layer in Google Earth. Double-click on an icon to
fly into a photo, and navigate from photo to photo.

acquisition date - As Product Manager for Google Earth, I'm fortunate
enough to get to talk to a lot of our users, and usually the first
question I get asked is, "When was the imagery taken?" With the new
imagery acquisition date feature, I no longer have to answer. Now you
can just move your mouse cursor over an area you're interested in and
see when the image was taken right in the status bar in Google Earth.
We don't have dates for everywhere, but we have great coverage, so have
fun exploring.

12 new languages - When Google Earth first
launched in 2005, it came in any language you wanted, as long as it was
English. We've come a long way since then, with support for 26
languages in Google Earth 4.3.

New additions include: Danish,
English (UK), Spanish (Latin American), Finnish, Hebrew, Indonesian,
Norwegian, Portuguese (PT), Romanian, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.