Google Earth 5.1 released; no longer considered beta

Google Earth 5.1 has been out for a few months now, and it’s been very well-received. It had a slew of bug fixes, some small new features, and some exceptional speed improvements. That’s not to say it was perfect.
Over the past few months, Google has been refining it and now they’ve released an updated version of Google Earth 5.1 and they’ve removed the “beta” label from it. This update will take you from version 5.1.3509.4636 to 5.1.3533.1731. The Google update tools aren’t showing this release yet, so you’ll need to download it directly from the Google Earth site.

Google Earth 5.1

Google hasn’t said a whole lot about the update, other than it has “a few more tweaks and bug fixes”. However, for Mac users this update includes the Google Earth plug-in when you install it, much like the Windows version has in recent releases.
The only known bug fix that I’m aware of was from this critter that’s been around for a little while. If you were running Windows Vista or 7 with more than four gigs of RAM, 3D buildings would often fail to fully load. I experienced this issue on my new computer, and I’m very happy to report that this update fixes the problem!
Beyond that, I’m sure there were quite a few other small fixes — have you noticed any in particular?

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. Mac version – GE 5.1 installed on OSX 10.4, but the new ‘double click to install the plug in’ for Mac has failed so far, as OSX does not seem to know what to do with the plug in (ie no default).
    Any tips from Mac users among GEB readers would be appreciated

  2. Oh sweet! I was wondering why the buildings weren’t looking good in my new PC. Was blaming the cable company 🙂

  3. So awesome to have the 3D building textures load in completely again…thanks Google!

  4. Linux version (installed on Ubuntu 9.10) can’t show polygons kmz files correctly. It seems still a beta…

  5. Hi,
    in MHO there is a ugly bug in 5.1: Moving the mouse around (“hoovering”) shows lat and lon, but *no* heights, all heights are zero.
    Can anyone confirm this

  6. Kurt – eye alt and elevation of the land surface are both functioning, along with lar long, in the Mac OSX version of 5.1 that I have installed.
    But I still can’t get beyond a ‘puff’ after a double click to install the GE plugin for Mac which comes as part of the 5.1 package, and search of the forums has so far found nothing. Any tips appreciated.

  7. Couldn’t complete the installation because the plugin doesn’t know which application to use. I ASS_U_ME it is Safari but am not positive. Izzat so

  8. Google Earth 5.1 is really fantastic and really fast, i like it because it is educational and i can
    learn so many things about geography

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