Google Earth Api deprecated

Google has announced the deprecation of the Google Earth API (also known as the Google Earth Plug-in and its JavaScript API).

This has been expected, given that Google earlier announced that Chrome was dropping support for the Google Earth plugin due to security concerns with NPAPI, one of the technologies that the plugin is based on.

The plugin will continue to work in browsers that support it until December 12th, 2015.

Because of its usefulness, we hope that Google will release an alternative to the Google Earth plugin. Many plugin users have already started to migrate away from it to other technologies, such as the Google Maps API, or Cesium, but there is nothing yet that really replicates the best features of the Google Earth plugin.

Google does hint, at the end of their announcement, that there may be good news ahead :

Google Earth has a proud legacy, which continues with the new Google Earth for Android, powered by a brand new renderer. 3D is in our blood, and while we can’t announce anything just now, we look forward to sharing more exciting product news in the future.

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.


  1. That is really sad. GE Plugin offers many API-functionalities one can’t get with the rather simple Google Maps API.
    For my work, I absolutely depend on the time slider enabling access to historic imagery. I have searched thoroughly, but it appears there is no Google Maps API for that at all.
    Also Google Earth features like lines render rather differently using the new API’s, they have different styles one can not change (like round line ends instead of squared ones in GE(-plugin).

    I wish Google would show a little more commitment into keeping the Google Earth spirit alive, like further developing the KML standard which nowadays appears as rather incomplete as there are many things that can not be done, especially shared styles are poor, and a pretty long list of features that are not really flexible and seem implemented in a rather quick and dirty way by GE (not so well thought functionalists).

    Come on guys, you have so much money, endlessly amount of money and really good engineers and not too many bla-bla managers. Please do the Spacial Imagery Community a favor and don’t trash us into the commercial bin. There is still so much unused potential in the GE Idea, you have good people, do it! 🙂

  2. Bloody useless for stallwart developers who despite enormous investment in Google Earth are kept in the dark. What is needed is a transition. First turning one thing off and then maybe announce something new doesn’t work for

  3. Pathetic all around. Treating your star API developers like shit and keeping them in the dark so they get blindsided by the announcement. Not having the courage and imagination to further develop GE beyond KML (static markup language) and toward a real dynamic programming environment, where objects can be interacted with and animated. Google’s boring commitment to keeping GE as a “static visualization engine” instead of evolving into a “dynamic animation engine” just shows how uncreative and constrained they really are over there. Not impressed, Mountain View.

    I, for one, am going to experiment with this::

    “What if Nintendo had built Google Earth?”

  4. Don't be Evil says:

    How youbeQ migrated their code from Google Earth API to Cesium:

  5. Hi,

    I use Google plugin on my web side. The Google Earth API has been deprecated as of December 12th, 2014 but now we have April 2016 and all work correctly. You read:
    The API will shut down by end of 2016, and will continue to work on supported browsers until that date.

    What happens after 2016? Plugin on my page will stop working? Or plugin will be work normally but people will have problem with installing plugin on new OS and browsers? Please for answer.

  6. serieu set chient car on peut pas jouer a NUKEMAP3D

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