[UPDATED: 0815 ET – Added features: Flash on the Mac, and faster switching to Sky]
Today Google will be releasing a new version of Google Earth: Version 4.3. The download isn’t available yet, but will be sometime later today. Based on past experience, the download will be available in some areas of the world sooner than others (many servers are needed to distribute to the millions of world-wide GE users). GEB will release full details and screen shots as soon as possible. Here are some of the more notable new features expected in GE 4.3:
Street View inside Google Earth – As rumored weeks ago, Street View will be here soon. And, yes – the images will be viewed with the Photo Viewer. That answers that question.
Imagery Dates – You will now be able to easily see the dates when imagery was taken for most imagery (but, not all – simply because the date data isn’t always available from the many imagery providers delivering to Google).
New navigational controls – New features enabling better ways to look around at 3D buildings and 3D terrain using new navigation gadgets and your mouse or keyboard.
More 3D buildings, faster loading – Faster loading 3D building models, and faster rendering as well. New photo-textured cities (it will be interesting to find out how they were made, where they came from, and how many new cities are included).
Day/Night Lighting – Real-time sunlight lighting option. Time slider control of the sun position. Expect a more realistic looking view of Earth from space. This has been done before by others, but now will be available built-in and supported by Google.
Flash Support for Mac – That’s right, you’ll now be able to play YouTube videos and put other flash apps inside Google Earth placemarks just like on Windows. There may be a couple of caveats though from reports I have. More on this later.
Switching to Sky Faster – Switching between Sky and Earth modes will be much faster.