Google Earth 4.0 release note gems

I keep on forgettting to blog Google Earth 4.0 beta’s release notes. It’s a fount of troubleshooting tips (especially for your graphics card). There are also some otherwise unheralded gems:

  • You can navigate diagonally by pressing combinations of cursor keys (such as up and left).
  • You can now get high-resolution imagery across the entire screen, not just the middle squares (at least if you crank up all the settings in the preferences/ options pane.)

From a long list, here are two very useful workarounds (quoting verbatim):

– Drag-n-drop inside the Places window doesn’t scroll and doesn’t give enough visual feedback. You can use cut-paste to move items long distances in the scroll.

– If you enable a folder full of overlays, you may require more resources (video memory and main memory) than your system is capable of. Killing the application may be your only exit.

Re the navigation: You may have noticed that the new transparent navigator is missing the button that returned you to the 90-degree top-down view. Instead, just type U. To orient North, double click on the N in the navigator, or just type N. To do both, save a keystroke and type R.

Just for the record, it’s possible to navigate using only keyboard shortcuts: Shift + the cursor keys changes tilt and direction; Mac-Command or Win-Option + up or down keys zooms in and out. (The “+” and “-” keys work too.) Adding the Option key to all these combinations slows down the movement, for fine tuning. This is how I navigate most of the time.