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article imageGoogle unveils the all-new Google Earth

By James Walker     Apr 18, 2017 in Technology
Google has launched a brand-new version of Google Earth, its rapidly aging mapping software designed to let you explore the planet. After a lengthy development period, today's rethinking brings new features to help you discover the world around you.
Google sent out press invitations to the launch last week, unexpectedly announcing it has been quietly working on a new Earth. Originally built as a desktop program, Earth hasn’t seen much attention in recent years. Google Maps has grown to overshadow Earth, leading to it falling out of favour.
Google is now working to make Earth a valued product once again. It has spent two years building the all-new version, accessible on the web and as an Android app. It doesn't directly replace the existing Earth program as no desktop app is available. Google Earth 7 will remain available to download for classic Earth users to enjoy.
Google is highlighting homeliness and the world on your doorstep. Earth's headline new feature, an interactive guided tour portfolio called Voyager, lets you look into homes from around the world. The "This is Home" tour guides you through traditional homes from a wide range of cultures, spanning the Earth's continents and climates.
The new Google Earth 18-04-2017
The new Google Earth 18-04-2017
Google
Google has also teamed up with leading environmental organisations and scientists to create other Voyager tours. A collaboration with the BBC Earth team responsible for making last year's acclaimed Planet Earth II guides you through the wildlife and geography of six of the world's largest habitats. Today, over 50 Voyager stories are available but Google will be adding more each week going forward.
The new Earth is focused on merging the natural and human elements of the world. Google seems to have placed as much weighting on featuring city landmarks as it has mountain ranges and endless plains. The new "I'm feeling lucky" feature – derived from Google's search engine – will transport you randomly to one of 20,000 curated locations, ranging from the green serenity of Pemba Island on the Swahili Coast to Valencia's Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, an architectural complex dedicated to cultural entertainment.
The new Google Earth 18-04-2017
The new Google Earth 18-04-2017
Google
As previously anticipated, Google is also adding more virtual reality capabilities to Earth. In tandem with the new release on the web and Android, it's rolling out an update to the existing Earth app on Steam. It now features a search bar to let you navigate the world in VR and new curated locations to explore. Availability has been expanded to include Oculus Rift headsets too.
Google is pitching the new Earth as a way to become acquainted with the wonders of the planet, learning about their history and background. Whether you're interested in natural or human history, Earth provides the tools to let you explore either. The update has been a long time in coming but now it's arrived it indicates Google's commitment to mapping the world.
The new Google Earth 18-04-2017
The new Google Earth 18-04-2017
Google
"With the new Earth, we want to open up different lenses for you to see the world and learn a bit about how it all fits together; to open your mind with new stories while giving you a new perspective on the locations and experiences you cherish," said Google. "It’s everything you love about Google Earth, plus new ways for you to explore, learn and share. Zoom in and see what adventures await you in the new Google Earth."
Google Earth is available from today at earth.google.com. It's currently only available in newer versions of Google Chrome. Google hasn't commented whether it will expand to include other browsers in the future. Android users can download the Earth app from the Play Store.
More about Google, Google earth, Google maps, Virtual reality, Vr
 
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