This thread on Google Earth Community leads to an interesting question: Does or does not Google Earth’s licensing agreement permit corporate employees to use a non-commercial version? Google’s Lrae seems to think that it does, whereas many businesses seem to have been convinced that it does not.
It all comes down to how you interpret this paragraph in the licence agreement:
This Software is for non-commercial use only and your rights in the Software are strictly limited to home, personal or recreational use only by you and not for the benefit of third parties.
I’ve always read the licencing agreement as follows: Employees can use Google Earth at work, but only for personal, recreational use… which probably implies to admins and bosses that if you’re using Google Earth at work, you must be wasting company time.
But perhaps Google’s Lrae has in mind a more mixed-use scenario for Google Earth in businesses — one that is more in line with how we use our web browsers at work every day: For consuming all manner of information, some of which is used in business decisions.
If that is the case, perhaps Google could clarify more formally, especially as NASA World Wind presents itself as an open-source alternative without such restrictions on business use.