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Google’s Virtual Facelift to Mother Earth

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold or silver.

When Martin Luther spoke the above words, he had no idea about the lengths to which Google would go to prove him right. And today we are at the door-step of a revolutionized way of looking at the entire world and beyond, with the launch of Google Earth 6 some time back.

Google’s Product Manager Peter Birch explains on the company’s official blog, “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.”

Watching the globe from Google Earth software has almost erased all boundaries, and with the latest 360 degree panoramic Street View feature Google allows us to soar from the space to the streets in just a fraction of a split second. The technology has been improved extensively from the Google Earth Street View that was released in 2008 where you could enjoy the Street View experience in different panoramas, but now you can enjoy the entire flight experience seamlessly at one go.

To make the Google Earth experience better, the newer version has docked the Pegman right next to the navigation control so that one can drop the Pegman on any of the blue streets that can be seen on the screen and move around. If one wants to move out of that place, then a click on Exit takes back to the aerial view.

Possibly part of Google’s running theme, “Don’t be Evil”, Google Earth includes an outreach program working with Africa’s Green Belt Movement and Brazil’s Amazon Conservation Team to model the world’s threatened forests. Hence Google Earth 6 adds three-dimensional trees to go with “many thousands of 3-D buildings,” Birch explains.

An essential part of the charisma of Google Earth 5 was the ability to travel back in time wherein one could observe old places in their prime, like London in 1945. This new version enables one to 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. On clicking this date, the user would instantly be taken back in time to view imagery from that time period.

As an after-thought, Google Earth 6 will surely make critics raise their voices on issues such as encroachment on individual privacy, probable law enforcements & security risks. As these issues are genuine, Google “must” make this tool customized and restricted. Apart from these mindset issues; Google Earth 6, sure is, an innovative initiation which would make traveling simpler & planned better on our beloved Mother Earth.

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