[Crossposted from the Google Lat Long blog]
We're taking bird's eye view to a whole new level with the latest version of Google Earth, released today. With Google Earth 6.2, we’re bringing you the most beautiful Google Earth yet, with more seamless imagery and a new search interface. Additionally, we’ve introduced a feature that enables you to share an image from within Google Earth, so you can now simply and easily share your virtual adventures with family and friends on Google+.
A seamless globe
The Google Earth globe is made from a mosaic of satellite and aerial photographs taken on different dates and under different lighting and weather conditions. Because of this variance, views of the Earth from high altitude can sometimes appear patchy.
Today, we’re introducing a new way of rendering imagery that smoothes out this quilt of images. The end result is a beautiful new Earth-viewing experience that preserves the unique textures of the world’s most defining geographic landscapes—without the quilt effect. This change is being made on both mobile and desktop versions of Google Earth. While this change will appear on all versions of Google Earth, the 6.2 release provides the best viewing experience for this new data.
Share your explorations with Google+
Google Earth is a great way to virtually explore the globe, whether revisiting old haunts or checking out a future vacation spot. With the Google Earth 6.2 update, we’ve added the option to share a screenshot of your current view in Google Earth through Google+. If you’ve already upgraded to Google+, you can share images of the places you’ve virtually traveled to with your Circles, such as family, friends or your local hiking club. To try this new feature, simply sign in to your Google Account in the upper right hand corner of Google Earth and click “Share.” Images of mountains, oceans, deserts, 3D cities, your favorite pizza shop on Street View—you can now experience all these amazing places around the world with people on Google+.
We’ve also made some updates to the search feature in Google Earth. Aside from streamlining the visual design of the search panel, we’ve enabled the same Autocomplete feature that’s available on Google Maps. We’ve also introduced search layers, which will show all the relevant search results (not just the top ten), so now, when looking for gelato in Milano, you can see all the tasty possibilities. Finally, we’ve added biking, transit and walking directions, so if you’re itching for a change of scenery or looking for a new route for your regular commute, you can now use Google Earth to generate and visualize all your options.
Posted by Peter Birch, Product Manager, Google Earth