New Update to Google Earth: v4.2.0196 UNReleased

[UPDATE 2104 EDT: Google has decided to remove this update temporarily. They have told me they will have a new version posted “soon”. But, they will now go back to the previous – 4.2.0180 version until the problems are resolved. If you got it while it was still available, you can play with the couple of new features. But, there are some problems with it they want to resolve.]
Google has quietly pushed out a new version of Google Earth – 4.2.0196(download the latest version here). This release mostly addresses some bugs from the first release of 4.2 on August 22nd (if you haven’t already read about 4.2’s new features – go here). But, there is one important new feature in today’s release: the night sky mode now supports the SpaceNavigator! This means you can fly your way around the astrophotography with the handy SpaceNavigator (a 3D mouse you can buy which also works quite well in the normal mode of Google Earth).
A couple of things I’ve found which are fixed:

  • Spherical PhotoOverlays – there was a bug in the earlier release with spherical photooverlays. If you turned your view too far to the right or left, the image would flip. That has been fixed with this new release. A great example is this view inside a helicopter. Try it with the new version of GE 4.2.0196.
  • Better Sky Movement – when you move between different placemarks in Sky, the flying between points is smoother.

I have found a couple of problems with the new release: the 3D Enterprise I wrote about earlier today, for some reason doesn’t work with the new release (it uses GroundOverlay). Also, two of the axes with the SpaceNavigator are backwards in Sky. You need to use the 3DConnexion control panel to reverse “Pan Up/Down” and “Spin” while in the Sky mode. Then it will work, but you’ll have to change it back when you go back to Earth mode. I’ve already reported these to Google.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.


  1. I’m having problems running GE. It gets to initalizing then just stops. I had this happen before and after today’s update. Anyone have the same problem?

  2. Linux download is broken
    Verifying archive integrity…Error in MD5 checksums: e892815985df0eff9d72550d552aa417 is different from 9429da91301a431a8e797f17984bbd9d
    Tried 3 times.

  3. Unfortunately looks like Linux download is botched, md5 mismatch. I hope you have Google Earth developers as readers, google-groups support group looks void of them 😉

  4. i feel that especially with big overlay like the amazon/google geoeye footage for the fosset search, or the 3D network servers for berlin and even google server based hamburg 3D make google earth extremely unresponsive!
    if enough data is loaded the frame-rate @ which GE navigates drops below 1 frame per ssecond or becomes totally unresponsive for up to a minute or longer. very annoying. i have 2GB ram in my macbook pro and 256MB ram in my x1600 GFX card which should be more than enough to handle this amount of data. i think the code for those operations is still very buggy….

  5. Hi smokeonit,
    I think the performance penalty greatly depends on your video card. I see very reasonable performance for the GeoEye stuff on my desktop. My MacBook (whose graphics card is about 1/10th the overall performance of the one on my desktop) still performs reasonably.
    Things like the Hamburg 3D content will obviously be even more dependent on the performance of your video card. My desktop does very reasonable (usually 15-25 fps) on a place like Hamburg or Denver, but its much slower on the laptop – which is what I expect. Single model scenes – or ones with lower-memory image overlays are fine for all my platforms. I think Google has done an excellent job with tuning Google Earth so it has a balanced performance for the many different platforms and system capabilities out there.

  6. frank, what GFX RAM do you have avail on the desktop and is the norebook a macbook or mb pro?
    the macbook use the processor for GFX, they don’t have dedicated GFX card…
    my x1600 with 256MB RAM is top of the line for notebooks. i do advanced HD video compositing with it on a daily basis.
    might there be a corrputed file somewhere, like in my preferences or something like that?
    normal flying in GE is super smooth, but even that gets very laggy when a certain level of cache is reached. i have all settings in the cache option in the GE prefs set to their maximum, 1500MB for memory cache size, 200MB for disk cache size… when i clear those caches i gets better until i get to that certain level where it gets laggy again… very odd… since my mbp performs beautifully until i reach that certain “level” of cache filling i know that it’s not my hardware that is causing the laggy behavior…

  7. google just released 4.2.198.xxxx

  8. GE 5 initializes for me and that’s it, it won’t do anything after that. How do I revert to the previous version?

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.