Earth view now available in Google Maps
April 26, 2010
Starting today, Google Maps features a new, immersive experience for its hundreds of millions of users worldwide: Earth view.
Google Maps users can now swoop down from space to explore their favorite parts of the planet in 3D. Earth view offers a true three-dimensional perspective which lets users experience mountains in full detail, 3D buildings, and first-person dives beneath the ocean.
Using Earth view in Google Maps is similar to using Google Earth. Users can
– fly to the location of their choice
– zoom, pan and tilt using the navigation tools on the left side of the screen
– explore 3D buildings and terrain
– search for businesses and get directions
To access Earth view, users simply click the new “Earth” button in Google Maps. If they do not yet have the Google Earth Plugin downloaded, they will be prompted to do so the first time they click the button.
Because Earth view is built right into Google Maps, users can easily toggle between Map, Satellite, and Earth views, making it simple to switch between a cartographic view, a top-down satellite view, or a 3D perspective using Earth view. For instance, users can find a biking trail using the bike maps feature, then look at it in Earth view to see how hilly the route is. Or they can find a vacation spot by searching for the most attractive beaches in Earth view, then switch back to the Maps view to get a quick sense of what the nearest towns have to offer.
Earth view uses the same technology that powers the Google Earth desktop application. Google built the new feature on the Google Earth API and browser plugin, tools that make it easy for web developers to include Google Earth in their own web sites.
To learn more about Earth view and experience the wonder of an immersive, 3D view in Google Maps visit maps.google.com/earthview. The site features a collection of 36 particularly striking locations to visit in Earth view.