Google Earth had a great year in 2008 thanks to its continued growth in popularity, new features, and an enormous growth in new content both from Google and the people who use Google Earth. According to Google there have been over 400 Million unique installations of Google Earth since it was released in 2005. There were 8 major updates to Google Earth imagery in 2008. The Panoramio photo layer grew by millions of photos thanks to people all over the world. From a broader perspective, Google also put a great deal of effort into expanding and blending technology for both Google Earth and Google Maps. There’s a Google Maps version of Sky, Street View works in Google Earth, Google Earth can now be viewed in a browser along side Google Maps, Google Earth is available on the iPhone, Google Maps gets several layers from Earth, and the list goes on. Also, Google’s 3D Warehouse grew in size (with millions of new models added), and many new features (Street View, more social networking features, plugin support, and more). And let’s not forget the Google Earth file format – KML became a standard.
Read below the fold for a summary of highlighted news and content for Google Earth from 2008 (see also a similar summary from Google Maps Mania):