Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Introducing Google Earth 7

Introducing Google Earth 7:

Google has just unveiled Google Earth 7, packed with great new features.


First, as promised, the new "3D Imagery" is now available on the desktop. As expected, the imagery looks amazing when viewed from above, but kind of messy when you zoom in tight. This is something that will certainly improve in future releases.


For example, here is a high view of Austin, TX:


austin-high.jpg

Here is a lower-level view inside of Austin. Trees seem to have the most issues, but it varies quite a bit from area to area:


austin-low.jpg

As a nice touch, Google allows you to disable the new 3D imagery if you'd prefer to view the older 3D models. To do that, go into [Tools] --> [Settings] and uncheck the box for "Use 3D Imagery" as shown here:


legacy.jpg

In addition to releasing this feature on the desktop they've unveiled fresh new 3D imagery for Avignon, France; Austin, Texas; Munich, Germany; Phoenix, Arizona; and Mannheim, Germany.


They've also added the tour guide, very similar to what we saw released on Android earlier in the year. It flies you through famous landmarks, offers stats and info from Wikipedia, and you'll find quite a few to choose from. The tour guide can be enabled and disabled by using the [View] --> [Tour Guide] option in the menu bar.


tour-guide.jpg

All in all, it's an awesome update. The tours are fun and the new 3D imagery is stunning -- though it's nice to be able to toggle the old imagery for close-up shots. Go download Google Earth 7 here and leave your thoughts in the comments below.