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February 19, 2007

Google Earth, Presented by a Google Employee

Jessica Pfund, a Google employee, talks about a program you may have heard about: Google Earth. The one-hour video takes you "through some of the most powerful, yet overlooked, features of this program and how people are using it".



Some notes:

* Google Maps is a 2D view of the world, while Google Earth is a 3D view of the world.

* Google Earth shortcuts: double click to zoom in, double right-click to zoom out. Double click on the zoom in button to zoom in to the maximum. Press N to recenter the view.

* Google Earth is a geobrowser, like Firefox is a browser for the web. It's also a way to search the world.

* Google Local is included in Google Earth. You can get local results by searching for a businesses or by enabling some of the layers (for example, the lodging layer).

* If you click on the pop-ups that describe a place, you'll find links to web search, images search, news. The search results pages open inside Google Earth.

* You can hide the left sidebar by clicking on a button from the toolbar or by typing Ctrl-Alt-B.

* Layers are displayed on top of the imagery and bring meaning to what you see in Google Earth. You can see the name of the populated places, the railroads or videos from different places.

* Create your own map: add pushpins, choose an icon and type HTML code in the description. Then post it at Google Earth Community, Google hosts it for you. Enable the Google Earth Community layer to see what people say about different places in the world.

* Content layers - provided by authoritative organizations, hand-picked. You'll find them in "featured content".

* KML files (XMLs used to display geographic data), network KMLs (link to external data that is dynamically generated).

* Create models in SketchUp, build KML files and share them in the 3D Warehouse. You can view models from the 3D Warehouse in Google Earth. The latest version of Google Earth (v4) added the ability to view texturized models.

* 1/3 of the world covered by high-resolution imagery.

* Google Earth is used for urban planning, education, disaster response and awareness, environmental activism, to share vacation photos.

This blog is not affiliated with Google.