The new Google Earth Plugin API has been adopted quickly by both Google Maps mashup developers and Google Earth developers. Given that Google Maps has long had limitations on the number of placemarks or other KML features it can show, the Earth plugin immediately enables more KML data to be viewed. That’s just one of many reasons why developers would want to quickly adopt the new plugin (besides the “show off” factor). I think this new plugin will be a huge hit and will be quickly adopted by many applications – especially once Google pushes out broader support on Mac and Linux as well. Right now, since the plugin is only working on Windows, developers should check what operating system people are using before presenting them with the plugin. No need to cause a plugin load error if a person is using Mac OS X. (See Gmap-Track below for the first example I’ve seen which addresses this.) In the 24 hours or so since it was released, at least 2 dozen apps have been released using the new API (probably many more than that just haven’t reached my attention yet). Below are just a few examples I’ve noticed, and there are links to more in other posts listed at the bottom. (NOTE: if you aren’t on Windows or using a browser supported by the new plugin – you won’t get to try all the links without a load error):
- Takitwithme – this site lets you try any KML or Google Maps map with the new API, and lets you generate the code so you can embed the plugin on a web page (or blog post). It was developed by Virgil Zetterlind. See the post on this from yesterday.
- GMap-Track – this handy tool lets you embed a map showing a location on your web page. Stefan Geens is using it on his blog OgleEarth. According to Stefan, GMAP-Track is now letting users choose to present the Earth plugin instead of Maps, and is smart enough to check operating systems before trying to show Earth.
- GearthHacks – GearthHacks was one of the earliest web sites to aggregate content for Google Earth, and has evolved its site many times to take advantage of new Google mapping technologies. So, its no surprise that Mickey Mellen has quickly adopted some tests using the new plugin. Mickey has also developed another plugin example for another site he has developed called GolfNation.
- Magnalox – Magnalox has long been one of my favorite sites which allow for GPS track visualizations (and more). They have very quickly adopted the new plugin by simply adding the Earth button to the familiar Google Maps control buttons. But, what is cool is that you can now show tracks with animations over time in Maps or Earth.
Other examples can be found at OgleEarth here. Naturally, since this blog has been writing about innovative applications of Google Earth for nearly three years, expect many more posts of examples of Google Earth plugin and its API as adoption continues to grow.