(Cross-posted on the Google LatLong Blog)
Today we’re introducing the latest version of Google Earth, our interactive digital atlas. Now you can explore your childhood home, visit distant lands or scope out your next vacation spot with even more realistic tools.
In Google Earth 6, we’re taking realism in the virtual globe to the next level with two new features: a truly integrated Street View experience and 3D trees. We’ve also made it even easier to browse historical imagery. Over the next several days on our LatLong blog, we’ll be digging deeper into these great new features, but here’s an overview to whet your appetite.
Integrated Street View
When Google Earth was first introduced, people were wowed by the ability to virtually fly from outer space right down to the roof of their house. While flying over rooftops gives you a super-human view of our world, the ground level is where we experience our daily lives. We took our first baby steps toward bringing the Google Earth experience to street level with our implementation of Street View in Google Earth in 2008, which enabled flying into Street View panoramas. In Google Earth 6, the Street View experience is now fully integrated, so you can journey from outer space right to your doorstep in one seamless flight.
Now, you’ll notice that Pegman is docked right alongside the navigation controls—an ever-present travel companion ready whenever you want to get your feet on the street and take a virtual walk around. Just pick up Pegman and drop him wherever you see a highlighted blue road to fly right down to the ground. Once there, you can use the navigation controls or your mouse to look around. And unlike our earlier Street View layer, you can now move seamlessly from one location to another as if you’re walking down the street by using the scroll-wheel on your mouse or the arrow keys on your keyboard. If you want to visit somewhere farther away, simply click the “exit” button and you’ll immediately return to an aerial view where you can easily fly to your next destination.
I was inspired by LifeHacker’s article about Eight Clever Ways to Take Advantage of Free Calling in Gmail. I tried them all. The Prank Call SoundBoard is my favorite and has already been useful for so many other things. The asterisk to switch phone lines has not worked for me and I am sure it is on my end of the world of settings somewhere.
The basic act of clicking on a phone number on a web page and placing a call only to have it handled on your computer is a sea change in approaching service calls. I just spent a long time on hold which resulted in having a nice conversation placing an order, nice because I didn’t have to hold a handset or worry about minutes.
This new Free Calling in Gmail is something, try it out.
First, there was the Google Street View Car, a special vehicle with a 360-degree camera mounted on top that brings us all that detailed Street View imagery. Then, Google engineers invented the Trike, a tricycle with a camera that can reach all those places where Street View Car cannot go.
Neither of those two vehicles, however, can venture out in the snow, and this is why Google created the Google Street View Snowmobile. Just like the Trike, it was invented by Daniel Ratner, and it was created especially for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, so expect some beautiful imagery on Street View during the event. See a video introduction to the Snowmobile below.
- Google Now Has a Street View Snowmobile (mashable.com)
- Yes, there’s a Google Street View Snowmobile now (Kim-Mai Cutler/VentureBeat) (techmeme.com)
- Street View hits the slopes at Whistler (google-latlong.blogspot.com)
- Google Street View Finland, Ski Slopes (blogoscoped.com)
- How Did This Skier’s Bird End Up On Google Street View? [Google Street View] (jalopnik.com)
- Google’s Street View snowmobile takes your voyeurism to the Olympic slopes (engadget.com)
- Hit The Winter Olympics Slopes – On Your PC (news.sky.com)
- Street View spymobile snowmobile prowls Winter Olympics (go.theregister.com)
- Google Street View snowmobile (ubergizmo.com)