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Google Businesses Earth The Internet Technology

Google Earth 4.3 Offers a Number of New Features 133

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-the-only-globe-we've-got-why-not-check-it-out dept.
GoogleWatch writes "Google's all excited for Earth day, and just in time there's a new version of Google Earth available. 4.3 offers up revamped navigation controls, 3-D photo-realistic buildings in major cities, and time-lapse views of sunsets and sunrises. Also new in Google Earth 4.3 is access to the street view movies found in Google Maps. Just click any of the camera icons and the familiar street view window will pop up. The sunrise and sunset movies are also quite impressive. Fly to a location you'd like to see and click the "sun" button in the toolbar. That will bring up a small timeline graphic and you can either hit play or drag the timeline slider to watch the day unfold."
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Google Earth 4.3 Offers a Number of New Features

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2008 @03:37PM (#23110350)
    I understand, from recent news events, that Google Earth will also allow for a new 'driveway' view for some up-close-and-personal looks at everybody's favorite geriatric nude sunbathers. Can't wait!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by oakgrove (845019)
      I have to say, this was one of the easiest installs of a random program on Linux I have ever seen. I just downloaded the one file, GoogleEarthLinux.bin, opened a terminal, did a chmod +x GoogleEarthLinux.bin, typed ./GoogleEarthLinux.bin and hit next, next, next and was done.

      Seriously, all Linux program installations should be this easy. Oh, and the program is great.

      • Err, ever used a Debian package? RPM?
        Even the Lightscribe folks provide them ;)

        (Actually, it's pretty strange to me that Google doesn't...)
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by oakgrove (845019)
          Yeah, actually, I've used thousands of deb packages. The Google Earth binary was not one of them. It was still super easy to install. Most Linux binaries that you download are anything but easy. That was the point. We should be able to download a binary that isn't a pre-rolled deb or rpm or whatever package and install it as easily as this was.
      • by Sporkinum (655143)
        Installed that easy for me too.. too bad it crashes it ran fine before I loaded the update.

        Stacktrace from glibc: ./googleearth-bin [0x804f3c7] ./googleearth-bin [0x804f8ed]
        [0xffffe420] ./libbase.so(_ZN5earth17ScopedPerfSetting6createERK7QStringbb+0x64) [0xb71170f
        2] ./libbase.so(_ZN5earth17ScopedPerfSettingC2ERK7QStringbb+0x45) [0xb711718b] ./libbase.so(_ZN5earth20LogScopedPerfSettingC1ERK7QString+0x35) [0xb7117257] ./libgoogleearth_lib.so(_ZN5earth6client11Application13setupQtLocaleEv+0x42)
      • by sxpert (139117)
        except the instant crash on startup, which makes the thing unuseable

        http://groups.google.com/group/earth-linux/topics
      • by magicchex (898936)
        what?
  • Great but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ccguy (1116865) * on Thursday April 17, 2008 @03:39PM (#23110388) Homepage
    I love Google Earth but I think they should revisit their decision of replacing new images with older ones if they have better resolution.

    I'm sure that's a good decision but a city like New York, but in areas recently developed it just doesn't make sense.
    • by calebt3 (1098475)
      A toggle setting would probably be best.
    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary&yahoo,com> on Thursday April 17, 2008 @03:53PM (#23110624) Journal
      I like Google Earth, too, but there are some serious problems. Processes seem to be terminated arbitrarily, and far too soon. Interprocess communication is too difficult. I can't seem to execute a JOIN successfully. Forking new processes is fun, but time consuming and expensive. Most independent agents are severely lacking in intelligence. System management is byzantine and security is non-existent, I mean, anyone can kill a process with almost no effort!

      I can't wait for Google Heaven, though. If it's anything close to what's advertised, it should make up for all the crap we have to go through with Google Earth.
    • Have to agree. Two years ago I could see the car in the driveway on Google Earth. With the new images (2008) I can't even make out the house. I'm quite surprised that their is no feedback button in the interface for the quality of particular images/locations.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pjludlow (707302)
      I agree. I was browsing some areas of places where I've lived and while there are some new higher quality images in parts of Honduras, my current residence in the US has a lower res image than it had previously (although it is newer now).

      I also think there should be some sort of tag listing the date of the image (maybe there is but I can't find it) so that if I'm planning a trip I can tell that the image was from 3 years ago and that the roads could have changed since.
      • by pipingguy (566974) *
        That's likely because you're wearing the tinfoil hat these days.

        Joking aside, that's a good idea.
    • by jd (1658)
      ...they already have both sets of images, and they're not short on disk space, why not simply have a toggle in Google Earth that allows you to select between "best resolution" and "most recent image"? A version numbering system would be even better, as it would allow you to use Google Earth to track changes in a place, but I suspect that even Google would have problems with the storage requirements for that.
    • The decrease in resolution is the failure of a common GIS mentality - The term "Latest and Greatest" is used to the point of being a beaten dead horse cliche. The failure of this mentality is that it assumes that the newest version of data is Always the best version to use.
  • by UberHoser (868520) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @03:43PM (#23110440)
    Damn google hippies with their fancy schmancy cameras all over my front lawn....

    Off!!! GET OFF !!!!

    Can't you see the signs that say {NO GOOGLE HIPPIES} {NO DOGS} {NO SALESMEN}

    WHy I otta....
  • Question: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enlarged to Show Tex (911413) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @03:45PM (#23110480)
    How does it handle the sunrise/sunset shots for locations that enjoy periods of 24x7 daylight during the summer? Does it (correctly) show the sun rotating around the sky?
    • by Javi0084 (926402)
      It probably does but it looks like you will have to wait until summer to find out.
    • by jejones (115979)
      I've been trying to check this, but I'm having a hard time setting the POV to get the full effect.
    • Re:Question: (Score:5, Interesting)

      by freeweed (309734) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @04:47PM (#23111328)
      We're past the spring equinox so to test this, zoom out far enough that you can see the entire globe. Put the north pole roughly centered on your screen. Now run the 24 hour slider back and forth - you can quite clearly see daylight never leaving some areas of the far north. By June this area will be much-enlarged.

      As the actual "viewing the sun from ground level" part of GE seems to correspond to the sun's terminator everywhere else I've tried it, I see no reason why the same wouldn't work from the land of the midnight sun.

      It's actually kind of fun to look at the entire globe at once - it really brings home why northern latitudes get longer daylight this time of year. The terminator is clearly angled during both sunrise and sunset to demonstrate the earlier sunrises and later sunsets the further north you go. The closest I've seen until this is the usual flat projection of the Earth with a distorted day/night overlay.

      Another cool thing is to use GE to show how the sun does in fact set further north than straight west (in the northern hemisphere) during summer. A surprising number of people refuse to believe that this is the case.
  • by Nicopa (87617) <nico...lichtmaier@@@gmail...com> on Thursday April 17, 2008 @03:47PM (#23110520)
    This is slightly offtopic, but... I live in Argentina. This country has been excluded from Google Maps since its beginning (Google Maps'). It's the only excluded country in Google Maps, I guess.

    If you search for it you will see that the map is just a white area. Not even the major cities, or the capital. We only have satellite images. Does anyone reading this know what's going on?
  • by j3wwy (848834)
    They need to set up "wasd" controls for movement.

    I'd love to strafe jump around town!
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by martin_henry (1032656)
      Maybe even quad-jump? and instagib?
      Unreal Earth!
    • They do have a flight simulator. Perhaps someone enterprising could come up with some middleware to make a shooter.
      • by Jellybob (597204)
        I was thinking about that as I had a look at the release notes the other day - having just bought Hellgate: London, which takes place in a city vaguely ressembling London, I thought it would be cool to use actual map data so that it was accurate.

        I'm not sure what the anti-terroism folks would think though... I have images of getting myself arrested for providing terroist training tools or some other nonsense like that.
  • Underwater (Score:5, Funny)

    by rossjudson (97786) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @03:54PM (#23110646) Homepage
    Cities are cool. Underwater would be cooler. With special underwater lighting. And little spiffy killer fishies at the bottom on the Marianas trench. Or a way to see coral before we succeed in killing all of it off.

    Where's the underwater google truck-a-subtomic?

    Or near-earth orbit, so we can see the junk?
    • that seems really low on the priority list to me. Seeing exactly what contours the Marianas Trench has isn't going to help me with squat other than a quick "neat-o", wheras highly detailed and functional maps and images of landmass, buildings, and roads are constantly useful.
  • New Images (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thelasko (1196535) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @03:57PM (#23110680) Journal
    How about updating the images. They must be five years old. Things change, buildings get built and torn down.
    • Re:New Images (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Christianfreak (100697) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @04:04PM (#23110782) Homepage Journal
      Exactly. I haven't downloaded the newest version yet but the version I have, and google maps sat view on the web has an empty field where my neighborhood is. My neighborhood has been here for almost 4 years. In a rural area that makes some sense but I'm in Dallas.

      What's worse they haven't even updated the street map itself, so even though the Google van did street view recently (not all the way where I am) they couldn't be bothered to update streets that they still don't show on the map. Those have been there for more than 2 years.
      • Downloading the new version and indeed my neighborhood is finally there.

        Still not on the online map though which I really find weird. They have the data, why aren't they using it everywhere?
        • by withak (40799)
          Could be licensing restrictions. Google has a lot of control over the data when it is accessed via the GE application, but no as much via the gmaps web site. It's possible that the owner of the data isn't willing to license it for use via gmaps, but is ok with the GE application itself.
      • Google coordinates for your neighborhood? Thanks, Jim
    • by SEWilco (27983)
      The new version is supposed to have a way to report the age of an image.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you have 4gb or more the images wont load correctly and are very blurry. If you limit to 3gb at boot the program will load the zoomed in images correctly and clearly but then the program will crash because of a nasty memory leak which also destableizes your system.

    Why does google hate people who want 4gb of ram, there are quite a few of us and 64bit desktops have been around since 2003.
  • by CSMatt (1175471) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @04:16PM (#23110954)
    I hear that Google Earth will be allowing users to control the spy satellites directly in version 4.4.

    Imagine getting a live feed of when your boss leaves his house, and then tracking him all the way to work. I'll never be late again!
    • I hear that Google Earth will be allowing users to control the spy satellites directly in version 4.4. Imagine getting a live feed of when your boss leaves his house, and then tracking him all the way to work. I'll never be late again!
      they already have that. Only, they don't include it in the free version, you have to get the special, super-expensive "federal" edition.
  • by heroine (1220) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @04:22PM (#23111032) Homepage
    Well they're certainly photos of buildings, just not realistic photos of buildings.

    Well, they certainly have free models on 3D warehouse. They're just all in a format Google Earth can't read without a plugin for a commercial operating system.

    They certainly have 3D graphics, just not the 5 lines of code that it would take to support 3D anaglyphs. Everyone's killing themselves stacking screen shots to work without this simple feature.

  • Hook it up to a GPS unit, I have a cheap USB NEAMA device, cache the area and stick it in yer laptop and go explore. You can find routes you would never even know about any other way. Pictures, quite hi res here, trucks easy to see, and a GPS unit is a killer combination in the bush.

    Regular GPS units give you a topo map at best. I fly down valleys in 3D and examine the features, routes and possible routes from any angle on a hi res picture of the area. As I'm in that valley with my laptop I can qui
  • photography tool (Score:5, Interesting)

    by carlcmc (322350) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @04:50PM (#23111352)
    One could use this for planning of landscape photography and how and where the setting sun will be.
  • It's still missing the new part of I-355 that is in the Google maps web site.
  • I updated, but if im not logged in as root i log in to their server!
    And being a "beta" it doesnt give me any information, it should at least have a -v flag or a --help flag.
  • Evil POS! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Raven737 (1084619) on Thursday April 17, 2008 @05:15PM (#23111632)
    Makes you install and updater (not just as a constantly running Service but also as a DRIVER?!! WTF!)
    then it also sets google as default search engine and installs google toolbar.... can this be any more EVIL?

    Luckily i have a VMware 'crapware' virtual machine... this got installed on there, once done, i just copied the Google Earth folder to my real machine, GE 4.3 Beta without the *unnecessary* crap :)
    • I was also miffed about being forced to install the updater. You can uncheck the options for the search engine change & toolbar prior to downloading, but they should not be checked by default (like everything nowadays!!!!). After I installed Google Earth I promptly uninstalled the updater.
  • Is it just me, or are the new controls really very confusing? The older slider for determining angle of view has now been replaced by the up/down controls on the 'eyeball wheel', but you can no-longer adjust that angle very quickly . There's the new fancy-schancy 'dive from a great height to the ground' slider, overall I feel pretty lost.
  • The demo "comes in for a landing" on a San Francisco street. The building imagery is texture-mapped onto the building volume models but the profiles of the cars are texture-mapped onto the ground.

    Result: The cars are all "squashed flat" onto the street. Reduced to a layer of paint. Steel road-kill.

    A great Earth Day gift for the eco-freaks of San Francisco. B-)

    (And I bet Critical Mass members are grinning as well.)
  • I've always thought the GIS-style stuff on the Internet is one of the most impressive uses of technology... like, if I were to show my grandma, or an alien, what technology were capable of, Google Earth would probably be the first thing I'd go for. Visually and conceptually stunning, and useful into the bargain.

    I remember being amazed by Google Maps, then shortly after spending literally half a day exploring Keyhole (which then became Google Earth), and more recently Google Street View, then Live Maps' B
  • Because of the angle of the angle of the sun, the photos of the hills near my apartment are shaded on one side. The sunrise and sunset feature, coupled with terrain view makes it possible to get an idea of what time of day/year similar images were taken.

    Not that it helps me, but I'm sure someone has wanted to know for one reason or another ;)
  • Yeah, it's nice. But today most of the letters in "Pennsylvania" vanished. Then all the state and place labels went away. What is that big red dot in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania?
  • How fricking hard could it be to support gpsd?
  • Went from 4.2 to 4.3 and now New York buildings locks up the whole program.
  • Check out the shit they're doing with San Francisco. Utterly amazing, those buildings. We're in the scifi future, I just need to get my particle beam targeting software tied in here.
  • Is it just me or did the street and locality names disappear with the upgrade from 4.2 beta to 4.3?
  • Ok, I'm late on that one. But really worth is the GEB 6-minutes video demonstration of the new features [gearthblog.com].

    Here's more info, well, a copy of my post of the site from my sig:
    Mentioned earlier this week [slashgeo.org], here's the official announcement [blogspot.com] and a description of a new feature, 3D building swooping [blogspot.com]. The release provoked a lot of reactions and writings in the geoblogs. Here's the GEB entries on his first impressions [with screenshots] [gearthblog.com], a video demonstration, well worth the 6 minutes [gearthblog.com] (really), a short explanation of the new navigation widgets [gearthblog.com] and some final thoughts on GE 4.3 [gearthblog.com]. Ogle Earth also shares his comments and discuss the differences between atlases and mirror worlds [ogleearth.com]. Interesting to note that not everyone is pleased with some of the changes [spatiallyadjusted.com], with GE being dubbed the AOL of the Geoweb [earthissquare.com]. APB also links [directionsmag.com] to a IW article on the practical uses of Google StreetView [informationweek.com].

  • The shadow feature is brilliant but 3D. I like the new shadow feature. In the tour video of this new version we can see how this works in Switzerland Mountains. I found that pretty impressive but it lacks original images. It shows 3d image for that.
  • Teleports you where ever you click!
  • I had to downgrade to old version of google earth because v4 wouldn't import GPX track logs, has anyone been able to see if this bug has been fixed in the new release?

    I get the track logs because I use a tomtom GO (linux based!) and a 3rd party tracker application which uses the tomtom SDK/API - see http://www.opentom.org/Event_Logger [opentom.org]

  • This is all well and good, but I can't sem to find the base building menu, and I can't launch any Interceptor or Skyranger craft. Luckily there haven't been any sightings or Terror Sites yet, but I don't know how long this'll be.
  • I found that the performance of 4.3 vs 4.2 was terrible, until I turned atmosphere off (View > Atmosphere).

    Atmosphere was never a problem in 4.2, but I guess this is something to do with the new day/night features.

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