Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Virtual Fly-Over To Any World Destination: Google Earth

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Another new Google release has just made its debut, providing the first public version of the long-anticipated Google geographic search technology, a unique tool bringing together local search with satellite images and maps from all around the world.

Google Earth provides a stunning visual, and I must say "educational" experience, by bringing together the best of its recently acquired Keyhole satellite-imaging technology with its own local search and mapping capabilities.

Click image to enlarge it

Google Earth is a standalone Windows application that's essentially an enhanced and upgraded version of Google Keyhole product.

Google Earth can in fact make anyone into a virtual bird capable of flying over Canada, the U.K., 38 major cities in different countries of the world and, all over the US.

The new Google Earth service is made up of three distinct components:

1) Fly To

2) Local Search

3) Directions

Click image to enlarge it

1) Fly To

The Fly To feature accepts an address, place name, cross street or simple Latitude/Longitude coordinates and zooms you quickly in to the specified location, typically stopping at an altitude of about 3,000 feet above ground. The user can also manipulate the view of any displayed location by tilting the terrain for perspectives other than a top-down view.
An extremely valuable data visualization facility allows the end/user to easily overlay roads, lodging services, terrain topography and 3D buildings, dining locations, and geographical borders over the original satellite image.

Extra optional overlay layers are also available including gas stations, pharmacies, emergency services, shopping malls, schools and a lot more.

The road layer of the Map facility displays road map information for any viewing area, including major highways, county roads, and streets. This option is available both in the Layers folder and on the general navigation panel. In the Layers folder, you can expand the Roads folder and control the display for U.S., Canadian, and of many international roads.

Please note that while road information for a given view is always available, it is only displayed in the viewer when a logical distance is reached. For example, if you are looking at a very large region, such as the limited part of a region or state, you see only major highways. When you zoom in to a more specific area, you will see also smaller highways and roads.

2) Local Search

The Local Search feature works at present only for businesses in the US, Canada and the UK. This facility offers an easy way to inpout a business type and location and to rapidly spot its location on a local map.

The search results display visible icons overlayed on the satellite images as well as being listed as text-based results below the search box.

By clicking the results it is possible to view more detailed information about the business, including the ability to expand relevant search results in the area that could satisfy your query as well obtaining driving directions to reach that business location.

3) Directions

The Directions search feature offers driving directions to and from places in the U.S. Canada, and western Europe. Detailed directions are displayed beneath the search box, and the viewer displays your route overlaid on an image.

The coolest feature offered by "Directions" is the one that allows you to literally fly-over your planned route from start to end like a supersonic jet in a reconnaissance flight.

Google Earth also allows anyone to share her own saved-searches in a bred of XML called KML. The format makes it particularly effective for individual users to create value for others by sharing their annotated maps and preferred routes, saving a great deal of time and research to those following your same path.

The beauty of creating a bottom-up channel where users could directly participate in enhancing and extending the value of the unique technology service offered makes this a tremendous example of right-on-the-mark strategy for any product or service sold through the Internet, while creating marketing agents and advocates out of its own users.

Users of KeyHole-Google Earth have in fact created thousands new views of the world by annotating their journey key spots, saving time saving new routes and providing useful tips and recommendations to those who will follow.

Of critical relevance is also back the advanced use options of the Image Overlay feature which allows to place custom images over the 3D view of the earth. For example, it is possible to:

  • Use a map of satellite weather data that updates to reflect the most recent weather imagery for that region.
  • Use imagery of a site plan and parcel boundaries to view the development stages over a particular parcel.
  • Use publicly available image maps (or create your own image maps) for such things as hiking trails, camping spots, theme parks, fishing locations, national park boundaries, and superimpose them on specific world regions.

Other notable features include an annotation feature, giving way to end users being able to personally annotate any part of the world map by using so-called "placemarks", the ability save such placemarks along with Google Earth searches and to store all of these in folders that may relate to specific journeys or projects they relate to.

Google Earth does require a broadband connection to the Internet and I do not recommend its use to dial-up users.

Next to the free public version, Google Earth Plus offers some additional features for $20 per year.

For more information see Google Earth Help and support information.

Google Earth runs only on this minimum hardware configuration:
Operating system: Windows 2000, Windows XP
CPU speed: Intel® Pentium® PIII 500 MHz
System memory (RAM): 128MB
200MB hard-disk space
3D graphics card: 3D-capable video card with 16MB VRAM
1024x768, 32-bit true color screen
Network speed: 128 kbps ("Broadband/Cable Internet")

Google Earth application download size: 10MB

If you are using Google Earth for the first time, a Sightseeing folder inside the My Places folder contains a number of points of interest already marked on the earth for you to explore.

Enjoy, and let me have your impressions!

Readers' Comments    
2008-11-19 08:45:03


This program is really nice but why boder buying it if you can just download it for free they have it cracked since it came out! I know cause i been using it since then so just go to googledotcom and write in "google earth torrent" and there u have it free and updateable !

2006-01-15 21:54:41

said tolba

hi this very good software

please send me free google earth code

2006-01-14 06:12:24


i need a map

2006-01-04 22:59:39


you, the people from google, should put up a link wer u could use google earth without downloading it, because its so fun, interesting and cool so many people would go on it. and if there is a link can you please sen me it

2006-01-04 22:57:57


you, the people from google, should put up a link wer u could use it without downloading because its so fun, interesting and cool so many people would go on it. and if there is a link can you please sen me it

2006-01-04 22:56:59


you, the people from google, should put up a link wer u could use it without downloading because its so fun, interesting and cool so many people would go on it. and if there is a link can you please sen me it

2006-01-02 16:39:40


robert badgett says "i wish that i could use it without downloading it

2006-01-02 16:37:43


robert badgett says i wish that i could get google earth without downloading it because im at school

2005-12-17 00:54:03


som taky a taky

2005-12-13 14:22:39



2005-12-13 14:20:43



2005-12-07 23:36:28



2005-12-07 23:33:19



2005-12-07 12:56:04



2005-12-03 21:09:59

me gusta earth, pero , hay q actualisalo, cada cierto tiempo. gracias.

2005-11-15 07:14:37


please send me free google earth code

2005-11-13 22:56:48

quiero un google earth directo, ver lo que sucede en el mismo momento. gracias

2005-10-09 02:20:09


plese i need google earth plus cod

2005-10-09 02:11:10


plese i need google earth plus code

2005-10-04 19:18:30


hi this very good software

2005-09-20 20:48:33

Tanveer ALi

hi this very good software

2005-09-11 18:42:28

muy buen programa, lo recomiendo

2005-09-09 19:18:39


i wish i could use this program without downloading things because i cant download here because it is an apple computer

2005-09-06 14:21:16


ahmed alansari

2005-09-05 17:27:28


please send free cod

2005-09-01 13:45:49

David Cocker

zxvcxz zxcv fdsa

2005-08-31 19:16:51

ugy benderd

no comment

2005-08-25 17:34:45


pls i want to download the free google earth

2005-08-25 17:30:11


pls i want to download the free google aerth

2005-08-24 13:15:27


dgsgsdag fg g

2005-08-24 03:55:55



2005-08-18 19:57:28

deepak rathore

view a part of earth by satelite

2005-08-16 22:29:06


Me gustaria tener el programa en mi PC para porder viajar virtualmente.

2005-08-16 01:00:44


google aerth

2005-08-15 16:57:59



2005-08-15 05:01:11


k.s.a madina monorah

2005-08-13 00:09:16



2005-08-05 04:56:03


how do u use this program help

2005-07-20 22:14:41

luis re

me interezaria adquirir el cd original de google aerth, solicito informacion al rspecto.
atte luis re

2005-07-05 19:42:04


But if I understand well, the whole stuff will still run on Windows only. As is Worldwind. What about Linux and Mac users?

posted by Robin Good on Thursday, June 30 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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