Home Google Earth Gets in Maps: Browser-Based & Embeddable

Google Earth Gets in Maps: Browser-Based & Embeddable

So rarely do I install an actual application on my computer these days, when I run across a download dialog I have to consider whether or not I’ll actually open the program or if it will just clutter up my desktop and start menu. Such is the reason, silly as it may be, I have yet to install Google Earth onto my netbook.

As of yesterday, my Google Earth-less days are over, as Google has released its all-encompassing 3D view of the earth as a browser plugin, making sure I never have to stray far from my workaday path to peruse Peru or browse Belize.

The install comes as an approximately 19-megabyte download that incorporates right onto your browser and brings Google Earth straight into the place you’re likely used to looking at maps the most – Google Maps.

Now, along the top of your Google Map page you will see a button next to Map and Satellite for Earth. Immediately we noticed that Google Earth zooms in further and clearer than the Satellite view, at least out in the countryside where the satellite view is often less detailed. And switching between views is quick and seamless. Some of the overlays that are available in Satellite view however, such as bicycling directions, were not available in Earth view.

Not only is Google Earth now more easily accessible (not to say it was hard before, as it had more than 600 million downloads), but now it can be embedded into other websites as well, using the Google Earth API. The Earth plugin is currently available and supported on most browsers for Mac and PC.

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