Google is upgrading the quality of aerial imagery for the satellite view that’s available in Google Maps and Google Earth services. According to a blog post yesterday, both mapping services now offer crisp high-definition satellite imagery of Earth without clouds captured by Landsat 8, an Earth observation satellite launched on February 11, 2013 in a collaboration between NASA and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The Internet giant Google announced over the weekend that the Google Earth Pro desktop application is now available at no cost. A business-oriented upgrade to Google Earth, Google Earth Pro used to command an annual subscription fee of $399 so this is a significant development.
It has more features than the standard edition of Google Pro, including map-making tools and add-on software such as movie making, GIS data importer, advanced printing modules, radius and area measurements and more.
Google has posted a significant update for the iOS version of its Google Earth app today, bringing it to version 7.1.1. The update features a number of enhancements, including a revamped UI, improved directions and Street View.
The overhauled UI brings the application in line with Google’s other iOS offerings, with a new left hand menu panel that makes navigating the app easier than ever, and improved search that lets you browse through results faster…
Google on June 6 held a hastily organized presser to announce “the next dimension in Maps”, in an effort to beat Apple’s in-house mapping solution unveiling which came five days later at the company’s annual developers conference in Sam Francisco.
While Apple Maps won’t launch before fall, when the company is set to release iOS 6 alongside the next iPhone and possibly a smaller iPad, the Internet giant is set to beat Apple by updating its Google Earth app for the iPhone with a new 3D view later today.
UPDATE: the new version just went live on the App Store…
Our friend and former iDB writer Alex Heath points us to a short clip highlighting Google’s embarrassment at yesterday’s hastily organized press conference to announce “the next dimension in Maps”. Instead, as pointed out by MG Siegler, the search Goliath revealed anxiety over Apple Maps.
Be that as it may, the fact remains that Google put up a pretty boring show, rushing out a new version of Google Maps and looking foolish in the process…
So, when the T-Mobile G1 was released a week ago and the new Android platform was introduced to the world, did you think that Google would stop supporting the iPhone? Well, it seems the answer is a resounding, “No!” Google keeps its relationship strong with Apple and its iPhone users with a new app this week.
In addition to Google Maps, which already comes with the iPhone, you can download Google Earth [iTunes link] from the App Store for free. When I first opened up the app, I immediately drew a comparison with the Earthscape [iTunes link] app which is also free. Both apps use a 3-D rendered landscape. Google Earth for the iPhone includes Wikipedia entries and photos from Panoramio. You can set it to see your longitude and latitude as well as the altitude at which you are virtually viewing the globe.
Unlike the desktop version of Google Earth, the iPhone app has no street overlay. Boo. So, basically it is a big 3-D globe with Wikipedia entries and Panoramio photos. Boo. I’m disappointed to say the least. Especially so since Earthscape has gotten quite good over many updates and has built up a photo community. Right now, you cannot take pictures within the Google Earth application.
Google Earth also has some bugs. Near my house, there is a weird 3-D wall along my street which doesn’t exist in real life (see picture, right). Looks like a bad render to me. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go away. Boo.
Google Earth does have some interesting features that even Earthscape doesn’t have. To see Google Earth in 3-D, you tilt your iPhone. It has a Google Street View effect, although you can only tilt up and down. Also, clicking the compass in the upper right corner makes the top of your screen north.
Hopefully, most of my complaints will be addressed in future updates. In the meantime, go ahead and download BOTH Google Earth and Earthscape and let us know which app you like better.