New Google Earth 5 Plugin Released

Google has quietly (so far – UPDATE: here’s the Google announcement) released an update to the Google Earth Plugin that advances it to GE Version 5 status. This means some of the most important features from GE 5 are now available in the browser-based GE plugin and, more importantly, some are supported in the GE API (API stands for Application Programming Interface). This means developers can write applications for the browser plugin that take advantage of some of the GE 5 features. The GE plugin updates itself automatically to the latest version (UPDATE: I had a report that someone didn’t automatically get the update – he uninstalled the plugin and it re-isntalled the new version. But, Google may just be slowly making the automatic updates). Note: This is NOT an April Fools joke!
So, what’s included in the new release? You can read the list yourself on the release notes, but here are some highlights:

  • GE 5 Tour Support – I’m very excited about this one – the browser plugin will now support playback of GE 5 recorded tours. There’s a demo of this already.

    GE 5 Plugin with Tour Playback

    Mars Support – Another biggie, you will now be able to load the Mars database in the GE Plugin. Here’s a sample using Mars in the plugin.

  • PhotoOverlay Support – the plugin will reportedly support PhotoOverlay through the API. I know several developers who will like this one.

  • Time Support – The time slider will now work/appear with time-based KML’s.

  • Ocean in Plugin – the 3D ocean added in GE 5 is now available in the plugin – see example . The API also supports negative altitudes for underwater applications.

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. Yes and quite a few bugs that are still there in the standalone GE 5 have been corrected.

  2. Still no plugin for Linux. 🙁

  3. I have used in my website the possibility to go undersea.
    You can visit any sea on board a submarine.
    Have a look for example in the Fidji

  4. that’s a great feature, I’ll make sure to add it to my website
    Just in case you’re curious the website is a Geo social networking that allow you to connect with friends using Google Earth
    Google Earth Shout
    I would love your comments to enhance to site..

  5. My Thoughts says:

    So what’s the next step? Is Technology Giant – Goolge, going to work with FBI and Home-Land Security to find where the criminal activities are going on… and in effect help US law enforcement to catch hold of criminals? 🙂
    Hope Google engineers – the brains of Silicon Valley, save themselves from the criminals then, whom they would be responsible for finding then. 🙂

  6. Mr B Maynard says:


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