Google Earth, one of my favorite applications, has hit another major milestone by releasing version 4 a few days ago. Many of the new features we have seen over the past few months because they were being tested in the Beta version, but this new release is great for those of you who don’t like experimenting with pre-release software. Here is a list of the new features in Google Earth 4:
- 3D Content & Textured Surfaces – both buildings and terrains can support “textures” to make the surfaces look more realistic. Here is what buildings look like with textures applied to them:
- Share Geographic Information – now you can do even more with image overlays by being able to use your own photos or your own sets of data.
- New Interface – there is a new user interface that is even more condensed than the previous one. Most notably you’ll find that the navigation controls are a set of transparent buttons in the upper-right corner of the map. There is also a small toolbar at the top for measuring, printing, and drawing what you are currently viewing.
- Annotate/Draw – now in Google Earth you can actually draw shapes and add 3D properties to them. This might be useful when trying to highlight locations or when demonstrating city boundaries.
Those are the new features in Google Earth 4, and I highly recommend that you check out their official What’s New page because they have some sweet video demonstrations of some of the features. Or, if you decide that you want to watch some of the videos full-screen (might not be too clear) these are the links that you’ll need:
- Terrain Video
- Textured Buildings Video
- Time Animation of World Seasons in 2004 Video (video is not full-screen)
News Source: Google Earth Blog