The Year 2012 in Google Earth

Google Earth had a tremendous year in 2012. We saw the release of Google Earth 7.0, which saw the addition of 3D Imagery to the desktop as well as a variety of other great new features.
Beyond that, here were some of our most popular stories of the year:
The big story in January was the wreck of the cruise ship Concordia, including rapidly updated satellite imagery and even 3D tours of how the tragedy unfolded.


February was relatively quiet, but we saw Street View finally arrive in Russia and the beginning of the GEC move to Google Groups.
In March we saw the first release of Street View imagery from the Amazon and Google Earth 6.2 for mobile. We also posted about “Google Earth Live?“, which was a speculative post about what Google Earth could be like in the coming decades. However, apparently that’s a feature that people want now, as it proved to be one of our most popular posts of the year!
In April we saw Street View come to Israel and Ukraine, explored the Titanic 100 years after its famous sinking, and saw some amazing enhancements to the unofficial Google Earth Flight Simulator.
google earth flight sim

In May we got our first look at the excellent Meograph project and took a look at the new One World Trade Center in New York as it become the tallest building in the city.
one world trade center

In June we explored the amazing rebirth of Crissy Field in San Francisco and got our first look at Google’s remarkable new 3D Imagery.
In July we showed you the Project Geo web series (which is still going strong) and helped commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.
In August we saw fresh Street View imagery in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette as well as the Kennedy Space Center and we showed you an incredible 360 Panorama from Mars

In September we saw new Street View imagery in 150 university campuses and followed the great story of a lost camera being returned home thanks to Google Earth.
October was dominated by two big stories related to Google Earth.
The first, of course, was the devastating Hurricane Sandy that hit the east coast of the United States.
The second was the long-awaited release of Google Earth 7 on the desktop, which saw many enhancements including the noteworthy “3D Imagery”.
3d imagery austin

November brought us some big updates to Google Mars as well as a lot of neat geo tools to track the 2012 US Presidential Election.
In December we showed you NASA’s amazing new “Black Marble“, finished our months-long Google Earth A to Z series, and of course helped track Santa on Christmas Eve.

All said, it’s been a great year for Google Earth! What was your favorite story of the year?

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.

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