Google has added another layer of realism to its already stunning Google Earth software allowing more realistic street viewing and the addition of 3D trees.
Google Earth 6 was launched yesterday and along with added realism and trees, the good eggs over at Google have made it easier for users to view historical imagery of where they are in the world - a feature which was introduced in Google Earth 5 back in 2009.
In the blog post announcing the launch, Google said: “While flying over rooftops gives you a super-human view of our world, the ground level is where we experience our daily lives.” To that end, users can now grab the yellow Pegman and, similar to how Street View worked since it was introduced in 2008, drop him anywhere on the map where blue lines appear. In Google Earth 6, the Street View experience is fully integrated, so you can journey from outer space right to your doorstep in one seamless flight.
The experience of using Street View is also alot more seamless. Unlike the earlier Street View layer, you can now move seamlessly from one location to another as if you’re walking down the street by using the scroll-wheel on your mouse or the arrow keys on your keyboard. If you want to visit somewhere farther away, simply click the “exit” button and you’ll immediately return to an aerial view where you can easily fly to your next destination.
While Google Earth has been building up the virtual world with 3D building models since its inception, there has been a lack of trees in this space but that is all set to change with Google Earth 6, which includes beautifully detailed, 3D models for dozens of species of trees. There is currently more than 80 million trees in places such as Athens, Berlin, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Tokyo. Through its Google Earth Outreach program, it has also been working with organisations including the Green Belt Movement in Africa, the Amazon Conservation Team in Brazil and CONABIO in Mexico to model the planet’s threatened forests. To enjoy these leafy additions to Google Earth, make sure you turn on the 3D buildings layer on the left side panel.
In Google Earth 5, historical imagery of certain parts of the world was made available, however it seems as if not everyone was aware of this little treat. So, in the latest version, it has been made very easy to discover historical imagery. When you fly to an area where historical imagery is available, the date of the oldest imagery will appear in the status bar at the bottom of the screen. If you click on this date, you’ll instantly be taken back in time to view imagery from that time period. You can then browse through all the historical imagery available for that location, or simply close the time control and return to the default view.
While this update may not have the glamour of previous updates when galaxies, stars and even Mars were mapped, it once more adds another layer of realism and ease-of-use to this remarkable software. It is as much an entertainment tool as it is a education and knowledge resource and well worth downloading.
Link: Google Earth