Some more notes:
First off, here is the official press release. Item: There’s been over 100 million downloads of Google Earth, says Google Earth/Maps Director John Hanke. Google also estimates there are over 30,000 websites using the Google Maps API to make mashups.
Barry Hunter at Nearby.co.uk zooms in on the subtleties of the improvements made to KML: He looks at textures within KML (which uses the COLLADA XML Schema), how KML can “stream” much more efficiently by being linked to specific regions, and at updates inside network links.
The Google Earth 4.0 download page has some very interesting new demos of the power of this new, improved KML.:
- This network link lets you toggle between San francisco in 1949, 1993 and 2006. (Be patient though… At least right now.)
- You can also download a very high resolution topographic map of Yosemite that only renders the detail you need. (Loading slowly right now too.)
ZDNet covers Google’s live launch event, where The San Francisco example above was demoed. ZDNet quotes Google Earth CTO Michael Jones:
“Developers can place images on top of (the map) that span the whole earth,” Jones said, half-jokingly calling it a “time travel” application. “I think people will use it to share ancient maps, (and share) information about possible future developments.”
Meanwhile, from John Hanke’s post on the Official Google Blog, blogged earlier:
- The latest data update from a few days ago increased high resolution coverage by 300%; now around 20% of the Earth’s landmass is covered, according to Google Earth/Maps Director John Hanke.
- Localized version of Google Earth have “unique local information layers for those countries.” Hmm. I might want those too…
Also, I checked: SketchUp Free for Mac is not a universal binary application yet.