Google's latest update to Google Earth includes several new features to view, including the three-dimensional renderings of the ocean floor, historical satellite imagery and maps of Mars. This is the first update to Google Earth since the 4.3 version.
fifth update to its popular Google Earth software offers something for virtual
tourists, planetary exploration enthusiasts and amateur oceanographers. Fans of
seeing your favorite places from overhead-not to mention your favorite artwork
high-resolution images are still there for your procrastinating pleasure.
for free download from Google's Web site, Google Earth 5.0 can plunge viewers
as far down as the Mariana Trench, the deepest location in the seven seas; it
can also let you roll back the years, showing what areas such as Silicon Valley
looked like five or even 50 years ago (a more disturbing aspect of this allows
you to watch glaciers shrink); and it provides a three-dimensional view of the
versions of Google Earth included an ocean that was virtually a monochromic
blue, with only slight shadings to convey depth.
on the Google Earth team had been working hard to build a rich 3-D map of the
world, but we had largely ignored the oceans-two-thirds of the planet," John
Hanke, director of Google Earth and Maps, wrote on the Official Google Blog.
intricate, high-resolution imagery is made possible thanks to Google's enormous
servers, the same that allow endless needle-in-a-haystack searches
and the long-fabled
, which deliver data to the user on a map-by-map basis.
addition to the 3-D renderings of the undersea floor (and a few of its more
famous shipwrecks), the new Google Earth provides numerous overlays, including
maps of the ocean's phytoplankton. The Mars map annotates significant spots,
such as probe landing sites, and high-resolution images where available. And all that's interesting to look at, but those who
spend the majority of their time on terra firma will probably be more interested
in the feature that allows you to upload walking or biking tracks from GPS devices, should you want to show
everyone a new route.