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. The 3-D mapping service will 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. They 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. Those places inspired Goodall, its founding chimpanzee expert. You can also get overlays of chimpanzee ranges. And you can 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. The producers offer stories about the region and its culture.
 
Separately, there is a new "I'm Feeling Lucky" feature. It takes you to a location selected at random. Google Earth is highlighting some 20,000 lesser-known destinations. These are the kinds of places locals might frequent or know about, such as the Indonesian island of Bunaken. It is 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. That limited its use. Google Maps has incorporated many of those features. It has made 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. That's 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 (101)
  • jaket-
    4/25/2017 - 08:34 a.m.

    I think it is very cool that google earth is upgrading.

  • sterlingt-
    4/25/2017 - 08:35 a.m.

    why did google earth get a make over and why did it take along time to do it and get new photos of places and it should work on all devices

  • brandons33446-
    4/25/2017 - 08:36 a.m.

    It was not so popular because it was not a necessity like Google Maps witch is used as a GPS Google Earth to me is more about exploring.

    • rileyn-kul
      5/04/2017 - 01:41 p.m.

      I agree. Google Earth is for creeping and I think it is cool, but really dont see any need for it. I think you should have to pass a background check to use it.

  • mariano-
    4/25/2017 - 08:37 a.m.

    Google earth before didn't let you explore as much as it does now, now you can actually go on a journey. The graphics weren't as good as they are now, which also helped them become more popular.

  • kelliek-
    4/25/2017 - 08:37 a.m.

    Google Earth wasn't that popular because people didn't see the difference between google earth and google maps. Now, with all of the updates, it shows just how different the two are and what google earth can really bring.

  • austinb6-har
    4/25/2017 - 09:00 p.m.

    Google Earth wasn't that popular because most people didn't have the need to use it because most people didn't want to go look around on the maps because a lot of people didn't have time.

  • kmadison-dav
    4/26/2017 - 12:40 p.m.

    A central feature in the new Google Earth is Voyager. Google has partnered with such groups as the BBC and NASA. They add video clips, photos and text narratives to three-dimensional representations of particular locations. Google Earth is highlighting some 20,000 lesser-known destinations. Google Earth used to be the place to go to for satellite views and 3-D images stitched together from aerial fly-bys. Google Maps has incorporated many of those features. The update is about giving you a reason to use Google Earth again.

  • joshuaa-bur
    4/26/2017 - 04:40 p.m.

    It wasn't popular because it was the same old thing and it wasn't immersive before. I wish that they would fix the 3D graphics so it could look better and be more fun.

  • isabellab3-bur
    4/26/2017 - 05:53 p.m.

    Google earth wasn't popular because 1, it was a lot of work to download and took up a lot of space on your computer or tablet. And 2, it wasn't a necessity in people's every day lives. For example, when I use google earth its when I have some free time, and usually that's not a lot since teachers overload us with pointless homework, and books to read. So as a result I can only afford to do my extra curricular activity and eat, other than homework.



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