Google Earth 4 Beta

Google Earth 4 Beta just got a few new features yesterday. It has been a few months since the last update but this one provides some things that could be very useful.

One of the new features is a drawing tool so that you can draw shapes and such directly in Google Earth and save them as KML or KMZ files that can be shared with others. In the past I have had troubles getting Google Earth to run at a normal pace in Vista but speed didn’t seem to be a problem this time around. It was running as quick as it always did on XP except I couldn’t get it to display the polygons. I could customize the shape but nothing would show up on the screen. I’m not sure if it is because I’m running it on Vista or if there is a compatibility issue with my graphics card.

That feature looked pretty cool, too. it would make it easier to give people directions if they were using Google Earth because you could make a building stand-out from the others. If you do want to see what it is supposed to look like then the What’s New Page has a working example of the polygon shapes.

There are also a few other new features:

Faster performance for 3D models

  • Improved caching of models
  • Support for compressed textures

New icons and icon management for easier navigation

  • New icons for pushpins and user palette
  • Coincident placemarks/icons now expand into a ‘star-formation’ for disambiguation when you click on them.

Improved Printing:

  • Now you can also print search results, and folders of placemarks, in addition to driving directions and the 3D view.

Download the newest Beta release of Google Earth 4