It’s midnight in Mountain View, so the embargo’s over: There’s a new version of Google Earth coming out today, Google Earth 4.3, though it won’t actually hit Google’s download servers until 8pm local time (
00:01 03:00 UTC Wednesday morning.) In the meantime, briefly, here’s what to expect, as recounted by Google Earth product manager Peter Birch:
Revamped navigation: New users should find it much easier to get around Google Earth. Zoom in and the view automatically tilts to horizontal, and there is a new look-around control. (Also, relative height is now used to determine movement speed, not absolute height.)
Images get easily viewable acquisition dates: Move the pointer over a piece of high resolution imagery, see the acquisition date at the bottom of the screen.
More and better buildings: 3D rendering has been rethought — low res versions of textures download first, followed by higher res (which is more like how Microsoft Virtual Earth does it, from the sound of it). There’s whole new towns available by default, and many more Google Earth Warehouse buildings.
Flash support for Mac: Finally, we once again have feature parity for Windows and Mac versions. This means YouTube videos are now viewable in Mac version of Google Earth. Yay!
Street View comes to Google Earth.
New sunlight control: When turned on, see where it is day and night on Earth, using the time slider. Zoomed in, watch the sun rise or set over the landscape. (There will likely be comparisons made to this feature in NASA World Wind, not least by World Wind developers themselves :-)
12 new languages: Google Earth will now also be available in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian (isn’t that just a Swedish dialect? :-), English(UK), Spanish (Latin American), Finnish, Hebrew, Indonesian, Portuguese(PT), Romanian, Thai, and Turkish.
What’s “missing” from this release? Of the most requested features, there will not (yet?) be revamped support for tours, no new pole-friendly projection, no 3D bathymetry and no GeoRSS support. Google Earth joins Microsoft’s Virtual Earth in getting a revamp, so perhaps it’s high time for a head-to-head review…
6 thoughts on “Google Earth 4.3 out today”
Such a shame — Virtual Earth has passed Google Earth when it comes to tour and timeline support… and VE doesn’t even charge a license fee to render HD movies!
GE still has the better interface overall, but this is one of those rare cases where Microsoft has the better price point and feature set. Go fig.
That’s a pretty strange comment, since 4.3 isn’t actually available. Maybe you should use the software before commenting on the feature set.
Street View! Yes!
Google Earth won’t crash your computer, as Virtual Earth always does after only 5 minutes.
However, Google Earth still crashes itself sometimes, but hopefully this new version coming out will not have that bug.
Street View! Yes!
Virtual Earth? What Virtual Earth? Do you mean the Virtual “Your browser/operating system not supported” Earth? GE beats VE 10:0 what comes to Linux use.
Linux? What Linux? Do you mean the “ready for the desktop (in 6 months)” Linux? Windows beats Linux 10:0 what comes to number of users.
this feature is not available now.. i see in indonesia, the street name is missing now..
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