In what is quite an auspicious start to 2006 for wonderful things being done with Google Earth, Germany’s Bernhard Sterzbach today came out with a beta of his Globe Glider, which brings the holy grail of integrating Google Earth with the web browser a whole lot closer.
Globe Glider is a dynamic network link, but on steroids. Its main innovation is much tighter integration between Google Earth and its built-in browser — installation requires you to allow Google Earth to be scriptable, a setting that gets changed in the Windows registry (see setup instructions).
Once Globe Glider is up and running, the browser window shows all manner of relevant information about the current view in Google Earth, and it updates automatically. (I got some errors, but that’s probably because I don’t have ActiveX installed, as I used Virtual PC for the Mac to check this).
I especially like the built-in GeoURL tab, which updates to show you nearby GeoURL entries in the browser. Same goes for a list of links to nearby places, with Google Earth’s view moving to these places if you click on the links. We have two-way communication between browser and Earth, then, and that’s a wonderful thing to see. (Other tabs point to Answers.com, destination guides and also nearby hotels, so there looks to be a referral-based business model behind all this.)