With the demise of the Google Earth API fast approaching we are looking at what alternatives are available. For some use cases, one possibility is to try and implement what you want to do within Google Earth rather than with the Google Earth plugin. In order to see what is possible we need to know more about the capabilities of Google Earth’s internal web browser.
Google Earth’s internal browser is most obvious when you open a link in a Placemark or if you click the “Earth Gallery” button found at the top of the Layers section. Depending on your settings this will open a web page in Google Earth. However, we prefer to have Google Earth open links in our normal browser. You can achieve this by turning on the setting “Tools->Options->General->Display->Show web results in external browser”.
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; N; ; en-US) AppleWebKit/532.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Google Earth Pro/220.127.116.117 Safari/532.4
For comparison the current version of Chrome says:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/46.0.2490.86 Safari/537.36
The important part is “AppleWebKit/532.4”, which tells us that it is based on the same layout engine as Google Chrome, Safari and Opera. However, it is an older version than the one currently found in those browsers.
Popups also support the IFrame tag, which allows you to insert any external website into a popup. This means that we can easily do a feature test with the website html5test.com.
As you can see above, it is not very HTML 5 compatible, attaining a score of only 119 out of 555, whereas the current version of Google Chrome scores 521 out of 555.
To try the above tests for yourself in Google Earth download this KML file.