Google Earth 6

Introducing the next generation of realism

11/29/2010 10:47:00 AM

(Cross-posted on the Google LatLong Blog)

Today we’re introducing the latest version of Google Earth, our interactive digital atlas. Now you can explore your childhood home, visit distant lands or scope out your next vacation spot with even more realistic tools.

In Google Earth 6, we’re taking realism in the virtual globe to the next level with two new features: a truly integrated Street View experience and 3D trees. We’ve also made it even easier to browse historical imagery. Over the next several days on our LatLong blog, we’ll be digging deeper into these great new features, but here’s an overview to whet your appetite.

Integrated Street View
When Google Earth was first introduced, people were wowed by the ability to virtually fly from outer space right down to the roof of their house. While flying over rooftops gives you a super-human view of our world, the ground level is where we experience our daily lives. We took our first baby steps toward bringing the Google Earth experience to street level with our implementation of Street View in Google Earth in 2008, which enabled flying into Street View panoramas. In Google Earth 6, the Street View experience is now fully integrated, so you can journey from outer space right to your doorstep in one seamless flight.

Now, you’ll notice that Pegman is docked right alongside the navigation controls—an ever-present travel companion ready whenever you want to get your feet on the street and take a virtual walk around. Just pick up Pegman and drop him wherever you see a highlighted blue road to fly right down to the ground. Once there, you can use the navigation controls or your mouse to look around. And unlike our earlier Street View layer, you can now move seamlessly from one location to another as if you’re walking down the street by using the scroll-wheel on your mouse or the arrow keys on your keyboard. If you want to visit somewhere farther away, simply click the “exit” button and you’ll immediately return to an aerial view where you can easily fly to your next destination.

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