News and Links – Out of Beta, Crysis, Our Dumb World, Visual ILS

  • Out of Beta – Google Earth 4.2 as of this week is out of beta. There is a new version you can download (version 4.2.0205.5730), but the only documented changes to the program are the version number and that it isn’t called beta. Even the release notes are the same. However, if you do download, you will see they have added a new download program for checking for updates and doing the installation – which is based on Google Updater.

  • Crysis – OgleEarth highlights the efforts of a 3D map maker for the new first person shooter game Crysis, who has used Google Earth imagery and terrain as a basis for an island he built for the game. Stefan also has some fun playing with a large overhead projector with touch-screen activated Google Earth.

  • Out Dumb WorldThe Onion, a parody news web site, has published a satirical “atlas” of the world called Our Dumb World. You can view a series of placemarks in a Google Maps mashup which give some interesting perspectives on the world. They are currently highlighting France this week, and will presumably highlight other countries as they go along. They have also released Our Dumb World for Google Earth showing the same content.

  • Visual ILS – For flight simulator fans, someone named ‘skywatcher’ at the Google Earth Community has posted an ILS guide for GE. ILS stands for instrument landing system and pilots have an instrument which lets them fly a specific path to the runway when the weather is bad. In Google Earth, the weather is always good, so this has limited utility. But, it is a kind of fun thing to try. His method is a 3D model aligned along the path which you visually use to keep on the path. See a YouTube video of the technique here:

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.


  1. What is the difference between the BZXD and BZXV versions? Both were offered when I clicked the download button.

  2. The Instrument landing system (ILS) is a ground-based instrument approach system which provides precise guidance to an aircraft approaching a runway, using a combination of radio signals and, in many cases, high-intensity lighting arrays to enable a safe landing during Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), such as low ceilings or reduced visibility due to fog, rain, or blowing snow.

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