Google Earth gets a makeover Lilian Pintea, chief scientist with the Jane Goodall Institute, demonstrates features on Google Earth, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Anick Jesdanun)
Google Earth gets a makeover
Lexile

Google Earth is getting a revival, as the 3-D mapping service reorients itself to become more of a tool for adventure and exploration.
 
A central feature in the new Google Earth is Voyager. Google has partnered with such groups as the BBC and NASA to add video clips, photos and text narratives to three-dimensional representations of particular locations.
 
The Jane Goodall Institute, for instance, lets you journey to spots in Tanzania that inspired its founding chimpanzee expert. You can also get overlays of chimpanzee ranges and compare imagery from 2005 and 2014 to see the effects of forest restoration efforts.
 
The producers of "Sesame Street" show off Muppets from co-productions around the world; the map shows where the Muppets live and offer stories about the region and its culture.
 
Separately, a new "I'm Feeling Lucky" feature takes you to a location selected at random. Google Earth is highlighting some 20,000 lesser-known destinations - the kinds of places locals might frequent or know about, such as the Indonesian island of Bunaken, part of a national marine park.
 
Google Earth used to be the place to go to for satellite views and 3-D images stitched together from aerial fly-bys. A software download was required, limiting its use. Google Maps has incorporated many of those features, making Google Earth even less necessary.
 
The update is about giving you a reason to use Google Earth again. Google says that while Maps is about getting you to a destination, Earth is about immersing you there, or "getting lost."
 
With the update, Google Earth now works on Google's Chrome browsers for desktops. It still requires an app for phones and tablets because of the heavy graphics involved; Google is rolling out updates for Android, but there's no Google Earth app for iPhones or iPads yet.
 
Some older features will still require a software download on desktops. That includes maps of Mars and the moon through a partnership with NASA.
 
Google also announced an update to a virtual-reality version of Google Earth. It now works with Facebook's Oculus Rift, not just the HTC Vive. But it won't work with cheaper, phone-based VR systems, such as Google's Daydream and Samsung's Gear VR.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why wasn’t Google Earth more popular?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (36)
  • monicas-ste
    4/25/2017 - 02:09 p.m.

    This is really cool. I think this is pretty great that they upgraded it. It seems a lot better.

  • Adrian-mar1
    4/25/2017 - 07:09 p.m.

    It's about how Google maps is improving there technology by giving more use to it by giving more features

    • Hailey-mar2
      4/26/2017 - 10:45 a.m.

      you should have been more specific why and how were features added to the advanced technology where did the inspiration come from and about the collabration of NASA & BBC GOOGLE EARTH allows you to be able to imagine yourself there not like GOOGLE MAPS GET YOU THERE

    • Ralph-mar2
      4/26/2017 - 02:39 p.m.

      I agree with you they do give us more features and I cant wait

    • Vasti-mar1
      4/26/2017 - 10:54 a.m.

      I agree with Lucero because she has the character-Jane Goodball.She has the problem-Google Maps just gets you to your destination.And the solution would be that Google Earth is to not immerse you.

      • Amaris-mar1
        4/26/2017 - 01:18 p.m.

        I agree with vasti and lucero because they both have the character -jane goodball . google earth shows you more about the location and google maps guides yoyu to your positive destitation

    • Kelen-mar
      4/26/2017 - 01:22 p.m.

      I agree with this comment because it talks about the main idea of the story of how google has made a better map which may help us a lot more than regular maps

  • Romeo-mar
    4/25/2017 - 09:21 p.m.

    Google Earth has been updating recently to get more people to use it. Barely anyone had used google Earth,due to google maps being more effective and about destination. So google earth has been updated to get people to use google earth more frequently incase of getting lost or to see parts of the world.Google earth is also available for the Virtual Reality headset to get people to be able to see it like they are actually there.

  • Karla-mar1
    4/25/2017 - 09:29 p.m.

    I think the message of this article is that people who currently use Google Maps now use Google Earth because now this software or this application has three-dimensional images since they had to do an update for this application since most people Have forgotten this app and use Google Maps to reach their destination

    • Hailey-mar2
      4/26/2017 - 10:50 a.m.

      i dont really agree about people forgetting what said was an opinion so ,some like me might not agree but the update might be alot more intresting thand just maps

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