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 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 and 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, limiting 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 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 (12)
  • sjulia-dav
    4/26/2017 - 08:32 p.m.

    In response to this article I agree with google earth getting a makeover. One reason I agree is that they are adding video clips and three dimensional representations. Another reason I agree is they now have google earth on chrome browsers. It says in the article that they added a 3-D mapping service. A third reason I agree is it is adding more features and more updates.

  • alexd1-bur
    4/27/2017 - 08:39 a.m.

    The real reason we only used google earth was really a map, but now since they've updated google it gives you more things to do and not just looking up maps.

  • simonh-bla
    4/28/2017 - 09:35 a.m.

    Google Earth was not more popular because of Google Maps having the same 3D aerial images.
    This article was about the new updates from Google Earth. The program has more places to see, such as the Moon and Mars. Google Earth now has a partnership with NASA to get enhanced images from space.
    I think this article was informational because it told me about the new things with Google Earth.

  • garrettw-bla
    4/28/2017 - 12:07 p.m.

    Google Earth wasn't more popular because it wasn't very useful. With the introduction of google maps Google earth was even less popular because there was no need for Google Earth when Google Maps could easily take you to any destination. I think that Google Earth getting an update is a good thin. I think this because it is fun to get an aerial 3D view of places in the real world, but this gets boring quickly. With Google Earth being updated I feel that the new features such as the one that takes to a random lesser known location will make Google Earth more popular and more enjoyable.

  • derrionah-bla
    4/28/2017 - 12:13 p.m.

    Google Earth was not more popular because of many reasons. One reason was because of the required software download, limiting Google Earths use. It has made Google Earth even less necessary. Another reason is because it did not have as many features as the update. "Google Earth used to be the place to go to for satellite views and 3-D images stitched together from aerial fly-bys." I think that this article was very informative on the updated technology of today society. I wholeheartedly loved the article because it gave me a lot of information i did not know about.

  • keyshawnc-bla
    4/28/2017 - 12:14 p.m.

    I think google Earth was boring. Also it was not really fun. At first it was just a tool to tell you directions. Now it takes you into a whole new world of Google maps and its fun. Also maybe people did not have time for it.

  • cartert-bla
    4/28/2017 - 01:08 p.m.

    Google earth was not more popular for a few reasons. One reason is that it was not really used as a map. It was made up of 3D satellite images. These images had to get a software update, causing the use of them to be limited. In the new update, images are getting better, and their are constant new updates and features being added. Google earth is compatible with chrome browsers for desktops

  • ashleya2-bla
    4/30/2017 - 09:04 p.m.

    Google Earth wasn't as popular because there were other apps out there that could do better things. Google Earth could only show you birds eye views of the world, where other apps could show you videos of the world. The new updated Google Earth has things now like video clips, photos, and text narratives to 3 dimensional buildings. There is also a "Feeling Lucky" feature.

  • jacksonh-bla
    5/01/2017 - 03:45 p.m.

    Google was not popular, because Google Earth used to be the place to go to for satellite views and stitched together from aerial fly-bys. A software download was required a lot for new people, limiting its use. Google Maps has incorporated many of those features. It has made Google Earth even less necessary. But the new update will give you a another reason to get Google Earth.

  • slauren-dav
    5/03/2017 - 05:55 p.m.

    In response to "Google Maps gets a makeover", I agree that the makers should have updated it. I think that it is a cool way to look at directions. Some people may think Google Earth is boring, but I think these new updates are really fascinating. I like how the makers of "Sesame Street" incorporated the characters from "The Muppet". It says in the article, "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." If they a these things, I think it will really grab peoples attention and they will want to check it out. Although I do not use this app, I would definitely encourage you to use it!

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