Google Earth 7.1 released; adds support for Leap Motion

Google Earth 7.1 has just been released!  Among the many bug fixes and enhancements is native support for the Leap Motion controller, due out in the coming months.  We discussed it earlier this year as possibly an excellent controller for Google Earth, and their latest video has me even more excited — check it out!

As for other enhancements in Google Earth 7.1, they’re mostly found in the latest version of Google Earth Pro.  The two new capabilities over there include:

Map-Making: Create legends and scales and add titles to a map, directly from Google Earth Pro. You can also print your customized map or save it as an image. To conduct an environmental survey, for example, enhanced map-making tools let you highlight changes to land mass over time and document those changes directly in the map by adding a legend.

Viewshed: Identify and calculate viewpoints, measuring distances and visualizing potential views. For example, an architecture firm could use the viewshed tool to measure a view from a building or window without being physically on-site.

You can read about those enhancements on the Google Enterprise blog, or learn more about Google Earth 7.1 from this post on Google+.

To get a copy of Google Earth 7.1 for yourself, simply download it from their site.  Have fun!

After you have a chance to play with the new version, leave a comment and let us know what you think of it.

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.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.


  1. I’m still running 6.2; I wonder if this patch fixes any of the complaints that people originally had about version 7 at it’s release (

    For me, I wonder:
    Can terrain be disabled by non-pro users?
    Can the zooming modes actually be changed now?

  2. Stars!

  3. New version, same poor approach.
    You still can’t disable terrain, which means that you need to download huge amounts of data to navigate and rendering is slow. Unless you have the Pro version to disable terrain or the enterprise version to cache your own world, anything but a quick glance at a spot requires a lot of patience or a really fast connection (and a huge data plan – you download hundreds of MB in no time at all).
    On 7.0 we had a bug in which you could no longer use the User-based controller movement (only a Bing Maps like zoom to cursor position). How did they solve it: they just removed it altogether in 7.1. Gone with the wind.
    Since version 6.2, font management is very poor and you have poor label readability if you select another size (due to the shadow), which means that you need to have huge fonts (specially in v7) and a messy environment if there are a lot of placemarks. Placemark/label size also has no effect if you select Small.
    Add to this the data hungry “Pretty Earth”, the poorly rendered Street View and the strange 3D buildings, and you can see that this software is going the wrong way.

    I have reverted back to 6.2 without thinking twice…

    • @ AC Thanks for these helpful comments – no rush to 7.1 then. I am still happy with 6.1 where terrain can be enabled and adjusted to choice. But I keep it on without the type of problems you describe, and wonder why performance seems to have changed.

      For those who might want to return to 6.2 can it still be downloaded?

      • Hi Chris. I like all the software that I use to be very lean, enabling just what I need.
        I really don’t care for 3D except for showing mountain POIs to friends.
        And as the imagery is 2D, overlaying it in a 3D mesh does not creat a 3D view. So, for me, it’s useless.
        I cannot tell if there’s a big difference between terrain in 6.1 and 7.1 because I don’t really use it.
        For me, version was the best version overall. I just use because it seems to have some KML optimization features on saving. My “myplaces.kml” file is some 25MB and styles account for most of it. If you delete a placemark in 6.1, the unused style remains in myplaces.kml and you have to export your marks to do a cleanup of unused styles. 6.2 seems to do it automatically.
        Anyway, styles management has always been one of the handicaps of GE. If you create two placemarks with the same specs, most of the time the software just creates a new copy of the old style. This means that if I have thousands of PMs with the same look, I will still have hundreds of styles. The only way to cure that is to use the “Share style” feature, but it only applies to PMs in the same folder or sub-folders. Just a pure waste of memory and computing resources (why read and process hundreds of similar styles if you should only process one?!?).

        Anyway, previous stable versions of GE can still be downloaded from this location:

        • @ AC Thanks again for your comments and the link. Your needs are clearly not being met, and it’s a pity that Google can’t build in more options to cater for your type of use, Nothing being said about GE 7.2 encourages an upgrade

      • Old versions of Google Earth (and really any program) can be downloaded at

  4. Garry Unger says

    Moving in street view is now herky-jerky with a lot of artifacts… I wish I could find just one improvement.

    • Garry Unger I had same problem.. Jerky as hell whenever I’m zoomed out far enough or trying to go into street view.. I figured it got to do with that damned 3D star background. With too much researching and no solution (other than tech noobs saying it cannot be turned off or fixed) left me no choice but to go on bug hunt myself.. Eventually found out if I move hammer_aitoff.glslesf out of /program files/Google/Google Earth/client/shaders it helps google earth run ALOT faster! That damned star background is finally gone. So far no issue whatsoever. Google earth 7.1 is what I’m using.

  5. Great! Future..

  6. Another feature not noted here, is the “Feedback” tool. Send feedback from within Google Earth (in the help menu) direct to Google Earth engineers.

    I would encourage people everybody facing issues with the new version (even if been there for a while) to send comments via this. Even if you just install 7.1 long enough to use the feedback tool.

    • @ Barry Hunter Have you ever received a direct reply to feedback, or have evidence that Google have made changes in response to feedback?

      • Well the feedback option, has only been there since monday’s release, so its a little early for it have an effect. Being new, they will be paying attention to it, at least for a while.

        I do know they have made changes in response to suggestions on the GEarth forum.

        • @ Barry Hunter Apologies, I was referring to feedback in general, not specifically to the new feature. But I feel that Google would generate more useful feedback if there was a more obvious response with pay off to users.

  7. tedgikonyo says

    Does the new version show new features ,like new constructed buildings and whatever is newly built eg roads and structures in cities.The older version has been showing old features but nothing new. pls let me know, also let me know where to download on safe sites.

  8. Where’s the tools. Can’t seem to find anything.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.