Google has rolled out a new version of its Google Earth virtual globe, integrating Street View imagery and three-dimensional trees for the first time.
Google Earth 6 was released on Monday. Although the product has incorporated Street View photography — real-world pictures taken at ground level by the company's specially-kitted-out cars — since 2008 as a layer, this is the first version to allow a seamless swoop from space right to the street.
The company has also introduced dozens of species of trees to Google Earth's 3D buildings layer. "While we've just gotten started planting trees in Google Earth, we already have more than 80 million trees in places such as Athens, Berlin, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Tokyo," product manager Peter Birch said in a blog post.
Google has also enhanced the product's historical imagery feature, so that "when you fly to an area where historical imagery is available, the date of the oldest imagery will appear in the status bar at the bottom of the screen", Birch added.