Don't confuse Google Maps with Google Earth: although they both belong to Alphabet, Inc. (Google's parent company), the first of them is an online mapping resource that combines satellite photos and other functions of the likes of Street View. Earth is different, although it does have certain functions in common, as it shows us a virtual globe to explore the Earth's maps based on satellite photos.
This interactive atlas was created under the name of EarthViewer 3D by the company Keyhole but in 2004 it was purchased by Google. It works by overlaying satellite images, aerial photos and geographical information taken from GIS data models created by computer.
It comes along with different developments for different platforms: for Linux and Windows 10, as well as previous PC versions, in APK format for Android, and even for iOS devices such as iPhone and iPad. Furthermore, there's also a Pro version that can be downloaded for free but that offers advanced functions for users that want to use this tool in professional environments.
Explore from your home the place where Jesus was supposefly crucified.
The program provides us with access to maps, satellite images or 3D recreations of anywhere in the world or even outer space and the Universe's constellations in high quality and from your computer's desktop. It does so thanks to its different features and functions:
- Explore the world in 3D and in great detail.
- Observe the planet's relief and orography, buildings and constructions in 3D. Alternate between different data using the system of layers, which shows different types of information.
- Constantly updated maps.
- Carry out searches for locations.
- View the ocean depths, buildings, the sky, planets such as Mars and even the Moon.
- Walk along the street with the Street View function.
- Measure distances and areas very easily.
- Access historical images.
- Different zoom levels to obtain the maximum amount of detail.
- Access guides for directions to go anywhere.
- Includes a flight simulator.
- Compatible with several GPS formats.
What does the Pro version include?
The professional or full version of this software has been developed to be used in those professional environments in which it's necessary to work with different cartographic functions and data, so it's not necessarily better than the ordinary version. It all depends on the use given because some of the features included might not be used normally by domestic users. That's why Google still offers both options and you'll also have to take into account that the Pro version is slightly heavier because it includes more options such as the following:
- Printing resolution above 4,800 pixels.
- Possibility to import GIS data from ESRI or MapInfo data, to use them in representations.
- Support to import addresses in batches (up to 2,500 addresses simultaneously).
- Access to cadastral, traffic or demographic data.
- Record movies in HD (1,920 x 1,080px).
- More measurement tools.
Some time ago, the program's API was made public for any developer who wanted to download it and use it, but right now it's no longer available due to security issues with Chrome and Firefox.
What's new in the latest version
- Fixes for 3D control devices.
- Fixes navigation bugs in the Street View mode.
- Improved compatibility with new map layers.
- More accurate location of stars and night sky.