Google Earth: Now in your browser!

Google Earth: Now in your browser!

Summary: Google just released a new browser plugin that lets users experience Google Earth from directly inside a webpage. The new plugin is accompanied by an API that web developers can use to easily incorporate Google Earth into their applications, just like what they did with Google Maps a long time ago.

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Google just released a new browser plugin that lets users experience Google Earth from directly inside a webpage. The new plugin is accompanied by an API that web developers can use to easily incorporate Google Earth into their applications, just like what they did with Google Maps a long time ago.

The downside is that nobody has the plugin yet, so any representation of Earth you put on your website is instead displayed as a box telling your users to install the plugin (but this is a common and acceptable practice). The install is easy and fairly unintrusive -- basically a couple clicks and browser restart. In Firefox at least (I haven't tried installing on IE yet), the browser restart shouldn't be necessary (Microsoft's Live Earth does everything it needs to without one).

googleearthplugin.jpg

This version of the plugin supports the following browsers:

  • IE 6.0+
  • IE 7.0+
  • Firefox 2.x or 2.0x (Firefox 3.0 support coming soon)
  • Netscape 7.1+
  • Mozilla 1.4+
  • Flock 1.0+

Live Earth is a browser based application as well -- however it doesn't have an API, and the plugin only runs on IE 6 and 7, and Firefox 2. The speed of Live Earth was also extremely frustrating when I first tested it out, but it seems a lot better now.

The difference between the two is that Google's solution, from what I can tell, was developed with only embedding in mind -- there isn't a stand-alone web based Google Earth yet, but I'm sure that's coming. To the user, the embedded content is zippy and responsive, with a relatively short loading time of around 0.5 to 4 seconds -- they have certainly done this right.

To see some samples that Google created using the API, visit this page.

Topics: Google, Browser, Microsoft

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7 comments
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  • Why do I need it?

    Why would I want to install a plugin for a specific website/application? kind of ActiveXish...
    ruiyiz
  • RE: Google Earth: Now in your browser!

    OMG it is amazing. Great fun for websites WOW.
    sjingram@...
  • Windows only?

    That's nice, but let me know when it runs on Ubuntu.
    Vadim P.
  • So What?

    I cannot imagine for what I would use it. But that doesn't matter any way, I am running Linux.
    Sagax-
  • RE: Google Earth: Now in your browser!

    I'm sure there are lots of uses for it, ones we can't even think of.
    justgold79@...
  • RE: Google Earth: Now in your browser!

    I'm sure there are lots of uses for it, ones we can't even think of.

    Did you even read their blog?

    When Google Maps was launched in 2005, few could have guessed the way map mashups would permeate the online world.


    Someone could build an awesome flight simulator, which has already been done with gmaps.
    justgold79@...
  • Interesting

    I am sure there will more uses for this that we can think of right now...
    http://techwatch.reviewk.com/
    desmondhaynes