More about Google Earth 5.2

Now that you’ve had a few days to play with Google Earth 5.2, we thought we’d share some other tidbits about the release that we’ve discovered.
One neat thing (that I first saw mentioned by Paul van Dinther) is that that the camera clipping has been fixed. In previous versions of Google Earth, you were unable to zoom it very tight on high altitude objects. This could be the top of buildings, or even planes in flight. As you zoomed, the camera would “clip” them and they’d disappear. Paul mentions that his “ships” and “helicopters” games are both improved as a result of thing change. Here’s an example of a tight zoom on a 3D plane, made possible by Google Earth 5.2.


The Terrain layer toggle has moved. Google has decided that it didn’t need to take up space in the main “layers” area, since most people leave it enabled all the time. However, if you need to disable it for any reason (slow computer, etc), you can find it under [Tools] –> [Options] –> “3D View”.
For those of you that use Google Earth Pro, Google has written up a detailed blog post with info about all of the new features available to you.
The main features in Google Earth Pro 5.2 are the premier data layers, support for processing large data set and enhanced measurements. Here is a great video that shows off the new layers that are now available for Pro users:

If you’ve found any other noteworthy changes in Google Earth 5.2, leave a comment and let us know!

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. Dawid H. says:

    In the saved paths properties the new tab appeared: ‘Measurments’ with the total length of the path. Yes no more need for external calculators like:

  2. For kmls with a time component, the time slider now displays the date of lower end of the time spectrum. This was available in version 4, but disappeared in 5 until 5.2.

  3. Duncan Brinsmead says:

    As I mentioned in a previous thread one can get RAIN (didn’t see it in earlier versions, but I don’t have one installed to compare). To enable rain toggle on the clouds layer. To see places where you can find rain toggle on the radar and go to any of the areas that are at least green.

  4. Duncan Brinsmead says:

    Another improvement is the shading when using the sunlight feature. The shading is now smooth, where before on features like mountains and such the triangle boundaries would be very noticable in areas like mountains at sunset.

  5. Balloons have smoother rounded corners.

  6. OVERVIEW OF 5.2 reading all the GEB comments it seems that most changes in 5.2 are for the more specialized user rather than the general user, particularly given the very mixed views on the performance of the embedded browser despite it being a good idea in principle. Is this a correct view?

  7. Not sure if people really caught this (I’ve mentioned it before in comments): yes, tracks show their actual length now under “Measurements” (and polygons show their area figure likewise, very cool), but the reverse is also true, i.e. you can take the ruler now and make a line measurement or plot a measurement path, and then you can click Save in the tool’s UI box and have it converted to a KML path straight away.

  8. And for a small change: I’m always zooming in and out with the mousewheel, and previously holding the Shift key downstepped to “fine zoom”, but now Shift+Mousewheel tilts the view.

  9. I don’t suppose anyone has figured out why like 95% of the labels for mountains and water bodies and canyons are still missing after about three months of the big layer reorganization, eh?
    Flying around the Rocky Mountains and seeing that maybe two or three of the peaks are labeled anymore is a joke.

  10. I just noticed that the minimum size of the cache file (dbCache.dat) seems to have been increased. Whether you clear the cache or delete it manually, GE recreates it and it’s never smaller than ~128MB here, most of which is obviously just blank after a fresh start. Granted harddrives are large these days, but that’s an odd waste of space.

  11. Why is something as important as demographic data reserved for Pro subscribers only? Don’t they WANT ordinary people to have information of that type easily accessible?

Leave a Reply