Most of us have had a browse on Google Earth at one point in time for one reason or another, and probably found it to be quite a useful tool, but nothing that special. Well, that’s all going to change as Google Earth gets a revamp to become more of a tool for adventure and exploration.
One of the new features in the updated version is called Voyager, and what this does is it adds photos, video clips, and text narratives to certain locations. For example, at the Jane Goodall Institute, you can get overlays of chimp ranges and compare images from between 2005 and 2014 to how forest restoration efforts have had an effect. Then, the producers from that very famous kids show, “Sesame Street” got involved and now on Google Earth, you get to see the Muppets and where they live and read stories about the region and culture while you’re there. Another new feature is the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button that takes you to a random, lesser-known location.
Google Earth was once thought of as the place to go if you wanted a satellite view of somewhere, made up of 3D images. Now, with the new update, there are so much more reasons why you should check it out. Google says that Maps is about getting you to where you need to go, whereas Earth is more about getting lost and having fun exploring.
Following the update, Google Earth is now compatible with Google Chrome for desktops but still requires an app for phones or tablets. Updates are being rolled out for Android too, but as of yet, there’s nothing for iPhones or iPads I’m afraid. There’s also an update to a VR (virtual reality) version of Google Earth that now works with Facebook’s Oculus Rift as well as the HTC Vive. But please note that it still won’t work with cheaper, phone-based VR systems including Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s Daydream.
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