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Monday, February 02, 2009

Google Earth 5.0 With Ocean, Historical Imagery & Touring

Google today announced the launch of ocean in Google Earth, a new feature that enables users of Google Earth to dive beneath the water surface, explore 3D underwater terrain and browse ocean-related content contributed by leaders in ocean science and advocacy. The new version of Google Earth also introduces Historical Imagery, a feature that enables users to virtually travel back in time through archival satellite and aerial imagery, Touring, which makes it simple to create a narrated tour in Google Earth and share it with the world and Google Mars 3D, which features hi-res imagery and terrain of the red planet.

Ocean in Google Earth combines sea floor terrain and expert content to provide users with an opportunity to explore some of the most difficult-to-reach parts of the world. Virtual travelers to Hawaii, for example, can examine underwater volcanoes, see videos about the exotic marine life of the region, read about nearby shipwrecks and contribute photos and videos of favorite surf spots.

The ocean feature is on by default in the newest version of Google Earth. As users zoom in on the ocean they will see a dynamic water surface, and once they dive beneath the surface they can navigate 3D sea floor terrain. The feature includes 20 content layers, containing information contributed by the world's leading scientists, researchers, and ocean explorers (for a full list of partners please visit http://earth.google.com/ocean/partners.html). These include:

  • An "Explore the Ocean" layer containing photos and videos about ocean hot spots around the world contributed by over 80 individuals and organizations
  • A National Geographic Magazine geo-quiz and overlays from their new Atlas of the Ocean
  • Videos from the archives of Jacques Cousteau, featuring never-before-seen footage of historic ocean expeditions

The new feature was developed in close collaboration with oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle and an advisory council of leading ocean advocates and scientists.

Historical imagery: In previous versions of Google Earth, users could only view only one set of imagery for a given location. Now users can activate a time slider to see both newer and older satellite imagery from around the globe, enabling them to observe a single location's development over time.

Touring is a simple new way for users to create narrated tours of imagery and content in Google Earth. By simply pressing the "record" button, users can fly from place to place, zoom in or out and click on content balloons, providing voiceover narration along the way. Whether creating a tour of one's family home or an in-depth study of environmental change, the tours are easy to create and even easier to share.

Google Mars 3D is the latest stop on Google's virtual tour of the galaxy. Users can travel to Mars with the click of a button and see high resolution imagery and 3D terrain. They can fly to the top of Olympus Mons, the tallest volcano in our solar system, read geo-located excerpts about different locations on the planet from A Traveler's Guide to Mars, observe where various Mars Rovers and Landers have touched down and much more.

GPS Tracking - Previously only available in the Plus and Pro versions of Google Earth, now all users can upload tracks from GPS devices (including many Garmin, Magellan, and NMEA-compatible devices) to Google Earth, making it easy to visualize and record running, hiking and biking routes.

Google Earth 5.0 is now available in 41 languages (previously 26):English (US), English (GB), French, Italian, German, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Latin America), Dutch, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Polish, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Hungarian, Hebrew, Indonesian, Czech, Greek, Norwegian, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, Croatian, Lithuanian, Slovak, Filipino, Slovenian, Serbian, Catalan, Latvian, Ukrainian, and Hindi.

More details can be found at:

1 comment:

XenonOfArcticus said...

And I want to be the first third-party developer to announce we’re already shipping support for authoring Google Earth 5 Guided tours in our Visual Nature Studio/Scene Express tools.
http://3dnature.com/vns3fotw-ge5.html