Google Earth for OS X in the wild

The wildly popular mapping application for the desktop is finally available for Mac OS X. The only catch is that it's not available from Google.

Leave it to the creative kids out there. If there's a new application floating around in a software publisher's R&D department, they'll find it and release it in no time. That appears to be what happened with the much aniticipated Mac OS X version of Google Earth.

Google Earth puts a planet's worth of imagery and other geographic information right on your desktop. View exotic locales like Maui and Paris as well as points of interest such as local restaurants, hospitals, schools, and more.

The only caveat is that the Mac OS X version has NOT been released by Google. A “very mysterious person” sent a download link to a blog called UneasySilence.com, so it's not official and care should be taken when downloading unauthorized builds like this.

The about dialog reports that it's version 3.1.03710.1 (beta) and it requires that you're running Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger). It runs reasonably well on my PowerBook 1.5GHz with 2GB RAM but city fly-throughs can be very slow, and buildings tend to lack detail. All-in-all it's a pretty good start for this killer mapping software and I look forward to the official release from the Big G.

Now if they'd only release a Mac OS X version of Picasa.

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