[UPDATE 27 October 2008: If you’re looking for the official Google Earth for the iPhone app story – which was released 26th of October, read this post. The post below was another iPhone app that looked like Google Earth, but was published by Earthscape in August.]
Last May I published a video demonstration of a cool iPhone application I saw at Where 2.0 which looked like Google Earth. The video demo was such a huge hit, Earthscape – the company who made it – quickly made it into a product you can now buy at the Apple store (available for $10). I purchased the app a couple of days ago and have just now had time to make a new video demo:
A couple of things to note: Earthscape has a 3D terrain model for the Earth, and they have high resolution satellite or aerial photos for some areas – especially in the US. But, you won’t find as much high res data as Google Earth. They have included a “Wikipedia” layer which includes placemarks to places from Wikipedia which when clicked on provide a summary of the related site. In the earlier demo I saw last May, they had the ability to use the iPhone accelerometer to tilt and rotate. But, the released app doesn’t include that feature. Tom Churchill, CEO of Earthscape, told me they found the UI was confusing to some people. But, they hope to put the feature in an update to the app in the future. Given the limited utility at this time (no KML support yet, no search capability, and no accelerometer support), I’m not sure how many people will buy it for $10. But, it is a cool app to see on the iPhone. I hope it inspires Google to port a version of Google Earth to the iPhone (if they haven’t already been working on it for months).
Here is Earthscape’s video demo of the new application.
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.
I am a great fan of Google Earth and Maps. Unfortunately, after years of waiting (and the service not being a Beta) my country – Romania – is still not in the list of countries with road maps.
We are an European (even E.U.) country. The Romanian wikipedia is one between the first batch, with over 100K articles – and, as a nation that is very much online, we wonder – why would you treat us like we fell off the edge of the earth (Google Earth, that is)?
Yahoo Maps has Bucharest. Google Maps can’t be bothered. I am so disappointed!
Google used to have a nice relationship to Romania. You have supported our language filter almost since the beginning. You even added Romanian to the translate service. Why is the maps service lagging? I am sure there are Romanians working at Google, it is not like no one remembers we exist.
I hope you will catch up, because the Google Earth idea is so profoundly seminal.
and google needs to port the GE plugin for safari!!!
Does Earthscape support KML?
Google Earth for the iPhone doesn’t work for me. It bombs out every time.
I cannot download the iPhone Earth app because of my country not being supported right now. I’m ok with that, but why the discrimination? I’d like to know the reason, that’s all.
Yes I want to know why a lot of iPhone apps like google earth cannot be downloaded because my country is not being supported. I’m from the Philippines. This is blatant discrimmination and being racist. A very bad side of Apple.
Hi. I’m also looking foward to use Google Earth (and others apps) but I can’t due to they are not available here in Brazil.
Richard Kiss says
Romania – is still not in the list of countries with road maps. Do you have any planes , regarding this???
And where are all this Romanians working for Google…little national … you forget where all started ….
Juan Zorrilla says
I agree with the comments about discrimination for countries where we cannot download Google Earth or other applications. Why?? Is there a rational reason ?