Google Earth has features for saving or printing your current view in GE. The free GE can only save out up to 1000×1000 pixels (or up to your screen size), but GE Pro can save up to 4800×4800 pixels which is good enough for high quality large prints. I’ve been experimenting with this feature in GE 4 Pro, and the results are stunning. For example, I took this panorama-like screenshot of the 3D buildings of Denver (see the blog entry I wrote about these models). Which you can see by clicking on the picture above through a Picasa Web Album. Once there you select “Download Photo” to see the full resolution (4800×1199 pixels) of this image. The quality of these 3D models with photo textures when zoomed in at full resolution is amazing.
The method GE Pro uses for creating these images is kind of cool. You select the menu choice “File->Print…” or “File->Save ->Save Image…” to initiate the process, then select what resolution you want. With the “Save” option you will get a requester letting you save the results to a JPG file. GE Pro basically uses the same method some photographers use to create “gigapixel” digital camera photos by taking a series of photos in a tile-like fashion of a scene and stitching them together using a panorama-style stitching algorithm. Each “shot” is “exposed” long enough to load the detail of the scene. It’s fun to watch – the first few times. I found you can’t get too close to a scene with 3D models because the tile-shoot method will actually miss parts of the models when it “zooms” in for each shot.
Take note that you should read the license for GE and GE Pro (search “license” on the GE help page) with regards to prints which says they can be used for “personal use only”. You also can not get permission to sell the prints – I asked Google about this.