[UPDATED: 0815 ET – Added features: Flash on the Mac, and faster switching to Sky]
Today Google will be releasing a new version of Google Earth: Version 4.3. The download isn’t available yet, but will be sometime later today. Based on past experience, the download will be available in some areas of the world sooner than others (many servers are needed to distribute to the millions of world-wide GE users). GEB will release full details and screen shots as soon as possible. Here are some of the more notable new features expected in GE 4.3:
Street View inside Google Earth – As rumored weeks ago, Street View will be here soon. And, yes – the images will be viewed with the Photo Viewer. That answers that question.
Imagery Dates – You will now be able to easily see the dates when imagery was taken for most imagery (but, not all – simply because the date data isn’t always available from the many imagery providers delivering to Google).
New navigational controls – New features enabling better ways to look around at 3D buildings and 3D terrain using new navigation gadgets and your mouse or keyboard.
More 3D buildings, faster loading – Faster loading 3D building models, and faster rendering as well. New photo-textured cities (it will be interesting to find out how they were made, where they came from, and how many new cities are included).
Day/Night Lighting – Real-time sunlight lighting option. Time slider control of the sun position. Expect a more realistic looking view of Earth from space. This has been done before by others, but now will be available built-in and supported by Google.
Flash Support for Mac – That’s right, you’ll now be able to play YouTube videos and put other flash apps inside Google Earth placemarks just like on Windows. There may be a couple of caveats though from reports I have. More on this later.
Switching to Sky Faster – Switching between Sky and Earth modes will be much faster.
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.
Cool, i cant wait to have StreetView in GE!
Alexander Ewering says
seems like some interesting new stuff, and looking forward to the download!
What I personally thought of just now when I looked at a few water bodies: Realtime specularity!
My plan for implementation would be:
– Find areas on the earth’s surface that are good candidates for specularities: Primarily, based on color (blueish tones), alternatively, based on the vector data for ‘water bodies’
– Based on sun position, calculate specular highlight
– Maybe add a (animated?) bumpmap to further increase realism at close distance.
Sounds like an idea?
Oh, yes! May I ask where this info was acquired? LatLong?
Anyhow, this is so awesome! Hmmm….4.3? Sounds like 43, matching with this year’s USA President? 🙂
Arun Kamath says
cool. When will the version be available in mumbai?
I got it, quite nice!
Does anyone know, if the new version is more compatible with Windows Vista 64, especially if there is 4 GB of RAM (or even more) installed?
I don’t see the update. It just brings up the 4.2 beta. Is this a mac thing? I am on leopard
NO COMENT IT JUST THAT I LIKE SHOW THAT I LIKE THIS PROGRAM
hello .. all that very nice but after any adding like wikimapia kml the ge stop !! i can`t work same before ..tell them to find a solution !
Jeff Gautier says
Strange: it seems the resolution of the maps is lower than the previous version, at least on my place (south France) ?
@Jeff: you’re probably seeing the effects of a bug in Google Earth that causes degraded image quality if you have more than 3 GB. It’s affecting a lot of people, but Google seem strangely silent about it. I hope they’re working on it, as it seems to me the number of people with that much RAM will only increase.
i cant seem to get google earth to come
down to earth
it only shows the galaxy and far away..
its driving me nutz!
i have download but i cant see any 3 dulidings
please guide i can open please tell