Google has discontinued the Google Earth Plus version which cost $20/year. This move is not surprising because there were only two primary features in the Plus version not already in the free version: GPS support, and limited spreadsheet input support. Both of these capabilities are possible to do with the free version of Google Earth with other tools (free and/or for moderate one-time costs). And, Google states in the announcement that they will be including GPS features in the free version of Google Earth in a future update. Also, for those currently paying the $20/year subscription to GE Plus, Google is offering a deeply discounted subscription to GE Pro for $99 (instead of the regular $400 price). Google is also offering a two-month free trial of GE Pro. Here is a saved view of the web page comparing the different GE versions (including Plus). via OgleEarth.
Here are some links to tools you can use to get the Plus features with the free Google Earth:
- BatchGeoCode – import spreadhsheet data to generate KML locations – FREE
- Spreadsheet Mapper 2.0 – Google’s own spreadsheet mapping tool – FREE
- Excel to KML Utility – Another free spreadsheet to KML tool by Bill Clark – FREE
- GooPs – A very nice package for supporting GPS with Google Earth – FREE, PLUS and PRO versions
- GPS Tracking with Free Google Earth – Recent release of a tool by Valery Hronusov – FREE