It’s no secret that I am a fan of Google’s impressive array of online applications and, when it comes to desktop applications, they do an excellent job as well. Google Earth is one of those applications and an even more impressive one if you stop and think about the massive amounts of information that are required to make it possible.
Google Earth 4.3 was released this week and there are number of new features to make this a worthwhile upgrade if you like the application. Google Earth Blog has a great review with screenshots of this version. The best way to get a good look at the features without doing all the work yourself, is probably the videos on Youtube: This one by Google, and this one by Frank Taylor which is embedded below.
The most important new features are:
- Photo-realistic buildings from cities around the world
- Dawn to dusk views with the Sunlight feature
- Swoop navigation from outer space to street-level
- Improved Streetview
- Imagery dates
All of these features a pretty clear in terms of what they offer, but the Streetview feature is probably one of the coolest in its presentation. When you get to the street level of a city(a city which has streetview and pictures to go along) you can see “spheres” representing the images that you can walk into at that specific spot. Once inside the image, you have a picture-quality view as if you were standing there.
One thing I was waiting for and that is now available though, is the imagery dating which allows you to know when the images you are looking at were taken. This way, you’ll know if that’s really your car your seeing!