The Thematic Mapping Api was released in 2008, less than a month after the release of the Google Earth plugin and Earth Atlas 3D was released soon after. The Thematic Mapping Api was designed to make it much easier to get started with using the Google Earth plugin for displaying statistics. Earth Atlas 3D demonstrates its use, and has some interesting maps, albeit rather out dated. It is clearly a brilliant toolkit, but don’t rush out and build your apps on it, as the Google Earth plugin has been deprecated and is set to stop working in December this year.
So go ahead and try it out. You will need a browser that supports the Google Earth plugin, and you will need to give it permission to run on the site. Also, avoid the ‘latest ice coverage’ map, as the URL to the KML has changed and it causes the Google Earth plugin to crash.
We liked the use of a cell phone model for displaying mobile phone subscriber stats.