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May 28, 2008

Google Earth Browser Plugin

Google Earth can now be used from a browser, without having to install the full application. Instead of the application, you need to install a plug-in that only works in Firefox and Internet Explorer 6/7 on Windows.

Google also launched an JavaScript API that lets you interact with the globe, draw markers, add layers or integrate with Google Maps. "The Google Earth Plug-in and its APIs let you embed the full power of Google Earth and its 3D rendering capabilities into your web pages." Google LatLong blog announced that each Google Maps mashup can take advantage of the new 3D view by adding a single line of code. "Our goal is to open up the entire core of Google Earth to developers in the hopes that you'll build the next great geo-based 3D application, and change how we view the world."

The samples look pretty promising, but I find it hard to understand why Google didn't use the API to create a better experience and bring more features from Google Earth (the search box, the list of overlays, the navigation controls) in a single interface.


Before downloading the plugin, please note that Google installs it in Firefox and Internet Explorer, along with a system service called "Google Update Service". The plug-in uses a lot of memory (around 100 MB just for loading the initial view and 300 MB for the Monster Milktruck demo) and, for each embedded object, you're running an instance of the Google Earth application.

105 comments:

  1. Unfortunately this plugin is not available for linux :(

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    Replies
    1. You're lucky. It drains your CPUs updating...I just disabled it!

      Delete
  2. 100 MB plugin? WTF? What makes doing Google Earth be better in a browser than in the desktop? I don't understand.

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  3. Not a 100mb plugin, it uses that much RAM. The plugin itself is quite small.

    Also, if you dig through the API you can see this is an enhancement to the google maps API, giving developers the chance to build a 3D view based of the already solid maps API.

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  4. I open the link happily, but it disappointed me again. Still no luck for Linux user.

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  5. As I mentioned, the plug-in only works in Firefox and Internet Explorer 6/7 on Windows.

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  6. Here's the setup process:

    1. First you download GoogleEarthPluginSetup_en.exe (300 KB), a setup for Google Update. The application creates a system service set to "Automatic" and downloads the real setup for Google Earth Plugin.

    2. The plug-in's installer (googleearth-plugin-win.exe) has 6.376 KB. It includes almost all of the files installed for Google Earth, an Internet Explorer plug-in and a Firefox extension.

    3. The files are copied to C:\Program Files\Google\Google Earth Plugin and the two plug-ins are installed in Internet Explorer and Firefox.

    4. All the future updates are handled by the Google Update service that runs in the background all the time and pings Google to see if there's a new version available.

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    Replies
    1. It's your last statement that troubles me. Big time drain on your computer when this is taking place.

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  7. This plugin do not work with Mozilla Firefox 3:
    "There was some problem with the Google Earth Plugin. Try reloading the page.

    The Google Earth Plugin does not yet support this browser.

    Supported browsers currently include Firefox 2.x, IE6, and IE7, all only on Windows. Learn more »
    The Google Earth Plugin instance could not be created. Try installing again.

    The Google Earth Plugin failed to initialize. Try reloading the page.

    If that doesn't help, you can re-install the Google Earth Plugin using this link

    Your Google Earth Plugin installation appears to be damaged.

    We recommend restarting the browser and then loading this page again.

    If the problem continues, please re-install the Google Earth Plugin using this link
    The Google Earth Plugin had an internal error. Try reloading the page.
    The Google Maps API key used on this web site was registered for a different web site. The developer of this web site can generate a new key at http://code.google.com/apis/maps.
    The Google Earth Plugin failed to initialize. The installation may be damaged. We recommend installing again.

    Get the Google Earth Plugin now

    3D Google Maps in your browser
    Supported browsers currently include Firefox 2.x, IE6, and IE7, all on Windows."

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  8. No love for us Opera users. I suppose it needs work anyway--I'm guessing the developers are not always planning for each instance of a map on a web page to use 100 MB of RAM.

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  9. No Linux version? C'mon Google! Is it a developer issue? Open source it, we'll have it on Linux by tomorrow.

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  10. This functionality would be far more useful if it wasn't limited to Windows browsers. As it is, I guess I'll have to keep Google Earth.app in my Applications folder a while longer...

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  11. For Linux users, use the old fashion binnary app (it's a pity the wine dependency).
    I think this browser thing is

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  12. ... to catch the majority of win-users that still use IE6/7, and are afraid to install anything other than spyware...

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  13. What about new java plugin? You can run every java application in browser window including java3D application.
    For example NASA world wind or jake2 (quake 2 port in java).

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  14. Since it's massive and only runs on Windows I don't see why it's any better than the original version.

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  15. Ummmmm this might be worth the download if it actually worked on multiple platforms!! Come on google, I expect more from you. You failed to address Firefox 3 (Mac or Windows from what I understand) along with Safari on either Mac or Windows. And linux as well.

    Get with it, the world doesn't just run on IE/Windows. Thank God for that.

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  16. No Linux. No interest.

    Come on Google you built your fortune on open source. You should realise that any power user or independent developer is likely to be using Linux by choice.

    Only sheep are still using IE and windows not the people that you want to make this thing really cool for you.

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  17. No 64-bit Linux supported.. Fail.

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  18. Not interested if it doesn't work on Linux. I thought Google engineers themselves would be using Linux?

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  19. Yeah right, as if I'm going to download their bloatware installer (which also installs and starts a service!) - G$$gle - you are getting closer to microsoft every day.

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  20. Does NOT work for Mac.

    Thus = completely worthless for a large and ever growing % of users.

    Lame.

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  21. This doesn't work for people behind authenticating proxies. Instead of prompting for the username/password, it just says that it can't authenticate.

    Why not make the entire thing downloadable through the browser, instead of making a separate application that doesn't know how to authenticate with a proxy?

    davidh

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  22. Does not work with FF3rc1-win32. Works with IE7.

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  23. it may not work in ff3 yet, but i cant even get it to work in ff2 here.

    download the plugin, close ff, run it, does its thing, asks to restart browser (nothing is open), say ok, no dice.

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  24. "Installation failed. Google Earth Plugin needs administrator privileges to install. Please log in as administrator and try again."

    Funny, installing the AdblockPlus plugin didnt need admin privileges.

    Plugin? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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  25. Google is just following their mantra "fail early".

    Porting to the browser is genius, but it may fail to gain traction. They are blasting this thing out to a mass market quick and easy with ff/ie.

    Port to mac? Comparatively small but growing a userbase, expensive R&D for port. Shift to phase 2 roll out.

    Opera? Linux? 64chips? Decent sized base collectively but expensive R&D required unless we want to release the code. Also they tend to be technically savvy. If they're interested in a hot new technology they have the know how to check it out. Shift to phase 3 roll out.

    Free is a tough business model.
    Google has a million feelers out there and they have to fail cheap and fail early. If they see it gaining traction they put the resources into phase two, more traction? Phase three...

    my 2 cents

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  26. I used to use Google Earth a few years ago, then they broke the installer (you have to install on the C: partition - not what I want and it won't fit).

    Now they bring this out and it doesn't work in Opera.

    Oh well, I guess I'll have to wait until the installer is fixed (seems a very simple job to me), or have they fixed it yet?

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  27. Stop whining everyone!

    For crying out loud. This is obviously just the first release. Do you really think Google doesn't realize it won't work on Mac or Linux?

    This is Google we're talking about! Of course they'll port it to a wider, open source platform if this initial idea takes off.

    Get a grip you big babies.

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  28. Well that sucks, no Mac version? Google works REAL close with Apple on a lo tof things, you'd think they'd release a Mac/Win version not just Win. Fail. :)

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  29. This is as much a plugin as Adobe's 'pdf in the browser' plugin, which always is the first to go because it is slow as dirt, unusable and insecure. Not to mention that downloading and opening in the original app works just as well, the only difference is that you get an interface that is made for using pdf files, as opposed to a browser.

    I hope the 100 Mb memory is in a separate process from the browser...

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  30. No firefox 3... Tsk Tsk. This browser is going to be released within a couple weeks.

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  31. not for mac. not ready for prime time. bummer.

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  32. Google Earth plugin doesn't correctly place balloon div in IE7 and IE6 when page has scroll

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  33. I don't understand the negativity here. This is a brilliant plug-in - or will be when they sort the teething problems. Loads very quickly on firefox 2 - constantly fails to initialise on ie7 - pity.
    Anyway I'm sure they'll sort the bugs out soon.

    As for which browsers - I am a web developer and as such totally understand sorting out ie and ff first - that's what the majority of surfers use. Obviously we all want everyone to use these things but as a 'Beta' you have to start with ie and ff - the bugs will surface, they'll sort them , then it will be straightforward to make it work for Linux etc.

    As to 'why?' - well you can use your kmz files created in Google Earth and include them in your web page now - using angles , elevated name tabs, 3d objects etc.

    Brilliant - and plug-ins can enhance your web experience - would you remove the Flash one ?

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  34. Google -- you need to make an version of the GE Plugin Installer that enables use of a proxy server, or publish an offline installer!!!

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  35. Found this site while searching for help on using this plug in in IE.
    I installed it but cant find out how to use this feature in my browser.
    If anyone can help me would be grateful. Also please help for firefox....

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  36. @sam:
    Visit a web page that uses the plug-in. Google Earth API's homepage is a good starting point.

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  37. The plugin is only available to windows users??... Bizar! Since when does Google only support Microsoft users?

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  38. Am I alone in knowing what 'Beta' means in this context?
    (The poor downtrodden minorities will be catered for in the final release.)

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  39. Now google earth plugin work with firefox 3. if you change from v=2.x to v=2 map api version. In www.videomap.it work with firefox 3

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  40. Installer did nothing on Winxp 64 bit with FFox 2 and FFox 3 and IE7. No Google Earth Plugin directory.
    Anyone else with same problem? Anyone want to post the installed files for me to download and try to make work?

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  41. so great i can write some on my linux PC and upload it to my linux web server but i need MS to see the results , just have to ask my windows users

    agghh

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  42. cool project, but Google is missing a linux version for mostly all of their products! Win, Mac seem to be more profitable *argh*

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  43. Google Earth browser plugin doesnt work for Google Chrome. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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  44. Google pluging cannot be installed on network with proxies that require logon

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  45. @janhsh:
    That's an issue with Google Updater, so you'll also see it when you install Google Gears, Chrome, Google Talk Voice & Video Plug-in.

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  46. downloaded google earth plugin for Mac (core 2 duo, latest OS). Safari still works but both Mozilla and Firefox won't launch. The application Mozilla cannot be launched - 10810. Firefox error msg on double-clicking = The operation could not be completed - unexpected error occurred. WTF ?

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  47. Free the code and it will be working in Linux

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  48. Hello , the google earth was working correctly on my pc and after a month am receiving the following error message:"The Google Earth Plugin had an internal error".I have reinstalled the plugins several times but problem persist .Can anyone help me please.Thanks

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  49. No linux version?
    Meh, I thought I could do a cool app with this, but it seems like this idea
    will be postponed until linux version will be out.

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  50. i dont get it ... how the heck do you download the google earth plug-in for Safari? i downloaded the google earth app then installed it into my "applications" folder. but i have to open it SEPARATELY? i am on a G4 tower and it takes FOREVER. can't i view google earth within safari? this seems like a simple simple thing. but all my searches have not landed me to the answer

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  51. Download the plug-in from this page.

    The Google Earth Plug-in is currently available for the following web browsers and operating systems:

    * Microsoft Windows (2000, XP, and Vista)
    o Internet Explorer 6.0+
    o Firefox 2.0+
    o Flock 1.0+
    * Apple Mac OS X 10.4 and higher (Intel and PowerPC)
    o Safari 3.1+
    o Firefox 3.0+

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  52. Google Chrome was finally added as a supported browser on Windows, still no sign of a linux plugin but it's supposedly scheduled to be written.

    * Microsoft Windows (2000, XP, and Vista)
    o Google Chrome 1.0+
    o Internet Explorer 6.0+
    o Firefox 2.0+
    o Flock 1.0+
    * New! Apple Mac OS X 10.4 and higher (Intel and PowerPC)
    o Safari 3.1+
    o Firefox 3.0+

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  53. A version for Opera please...

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  54. why doesn't this work for Google Chrome? Seems like that would be a no brainer!

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  55. @Jeff:
    It does work. What version of Chrome do you use?

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  56. No Linux version, a pitty! I cannot use this tool for development since the majority of the users of my apps use Linux and just a few use either a Mac or Windows.

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  57. Linux version, please

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  58. Almost one year, and still no Linux version.... what a pity..

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  59. If you get Google Chrome it will make every profile slow!!!!

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  60. Does anyone know approximately a release date for linux plugin?

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  61. Google is developing it'sown linux distribution, but, we still:

    1 - Have no gtalk on linux, nor we can use it'smultimedia features from the gmail webpage
    2 - Have not a chrome for linux version
    3 - have no linux Google earth plugin
    4 - have to wait till you reliease your own linux version in order to be a able to enjoy these features.

    DON'T BE SELFISH, YOU SUERLY HAVE THEM ALL DEVELOPED BUT YOU DO NOT WANT COMPENENCE FROM US. YOU ARE JUST LIKS MS.
    I do not forget nokia linux tablets have its own gtalk, why not us?
    Neither I do forget you hired the pidgin developer, FOR WHAT!!!!!!!

    SELFISH SELFISH SELFISH

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  62. Google is a Financial and Money-serving entity. That is why its called a business people. If you aren't happy with google's catering to 80% of the PC market ... tough luck to you. What's with all this whining and wringing of hands that Google wants to get more marketshare ? Linux isn't about Marketshare, its about the people who Use linux have the right to modify it to suit their needs. It is obvious that Google wishes to modify linux for its needs, unless many many many users here. Please, don't be self-less, BE SELFISH, modify linux, make stuff that works on Linux. Use linux and be happy with more Linux users and developers. On linux, an user is equal to a developer.
    Linux user = Linux developer
    More power to the user. That is Linux. If you want jail, there is always Micro$haft

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  63. please let the installation process ask for proxy server !

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  64. According to the IT geeks at the Sacramento Public Library, GE requires administrative privileges (which they won't allow), so that application is not available on the library's Internet PC's. However, one can use the plug-in and use it that way. It's better than nothing.

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  65. Macintrash users a "large and ever growing" percentage? Thanks for the laugh. In truth, they're a small and ever shrinking percentage. Get a real computer.

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  66. 3 cheers for this neat piece.

    the 'real' google earth is much better when you genuinely want to get acquainted with the satellite view, for the following 5 main reasons:

    1. the window can be resized to suit your viewing comfort;
    2. there are lots of layers to customize your view;
    3. there's real-time weather;
    4. place markers;
    5. the view's a lot more detailed in it.

    but i did like the plugin because it's fast! way faster than google earth. the drawback is the window can't be resized. so you're restricted to 700x400 view, which i found, to my surprise, is a faster way to browse a place you need to quickly view.

    all in all, it's a wonderful plugin.

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  67. ¿When will Google Earth plug-in be available for Opera??? ¿Impossible, maybe???

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  68. Works on Opera, just need to mask your browser as Firefox

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  69. Three Things:

    1. Google should make the Google Earth Plugin for us Mac and Linux users.

    2. 100mb of disk space is a lot for a plugin.

    ---------------------And---------------------

    3.Great application, just a bad plugin.

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  70. Google Earth Plugin is available for Windows and Mac. The Windows version of the plugin has about 30 MB because it's almost identical to the Google Earth application.

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  71. I can't believe Linux has been so neglected by Google! I don't mind timescales, just some kind of acknowledgement of the commitment. Please Mr Google, please!

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  72. What's up with Google. Usually they're Linux-friendly. Please make it run for Linux!

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  73. Installer bug on some OS X systems...

    Work around: Copy "Google Earth Web Plug-in.plugin" to "/Library/Internet Plug-Ins"

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  74. It's funny that google takes so much from the linux community but always delays giving back (they usually do give back but it's always a long process instead of a priority). I wish they would say "Microsoft users, YOU WAIT, since your OS provider is unfriendly and uncooperative", but....that's not how the world turns I suppose

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  75. How the hell do you remove this? It's a super idea, but it should offer an option to remove it.

    Anything else is just bloody annoying.

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  76. Depending on what browser you use, the plug-in can be disabled. For example, in Firefox go to the Tools menu, select Add-ons, click on the Plugins tab and disable "Google Earth Plugin".

    In Internet Explorer, there's a similar option called "Managed Add-ons". Select "all add-ons" from the drop-down and disable" GEPluginCoClass Object".

    You can also uninstall Google Earth.

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  77. This may be an odd question but does anyone know how this plugin actually interfaces with Firefox?

    Using the methods above and changing the location of the installer to a particular folder, I can not get the plugin to appear in the Firefox list.

    I NEED this plugin to install within the Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugin directory and be functioning properly but I can not figure out how to get it to do it

    most plugins or extensions have an install.rdf file that I can open and locate the em:id and create a folder within the extensions or plugin folder and name it to that em:id and place all the files inside it and it works perfectly however Google Earth will not do that.

    Anyone have any ideas?

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  78. It's an NPAPI plugin, not a Firefox extension.

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  79. What i am hoping to accomplish is to use our AppV program and capture Firefox with the Google Earth plugin included. Currently I can capture Firefox no problem and I can virtualize the plugin seperately and use DSCs to link them but i am unable to virtualize them together.

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  80. Why doesn't it shutdown when the browser is shut down

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  81. I'm developer and really dont know why still no linux's plugin...
    =(

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  82. hello people dont you see what is going to happen with this!, the government will be able to access your files whenever they want now, if they ever suspect you of a "terrorist". you know what fuck the government. Soon the government will fuck us all over.

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  83. no linux, no love

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  84. Linux, Linux, Linux!

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  85. You can prolly all gues why I'm posting. more Linux plzzz!!!

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  86. Do I need to mention it? Google just go through the comments above. 90% of comments above want a linux version. Come on, atleast tell us you are working on it.
    Very Disappointed.

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  87. Another vote for a Linux version. It's only been 3 years.....c'mon, Google.

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  88. Also want it in Linux as I don't use Windows or Mac....

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  89. GOOGLE! Y U NO MAKE A LINUX VERSION?!

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  90. Over than 3 years and counting.. we, Linux users are still waiting...!!

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  91. Hi,
    I want a Linux version as well.

    But in the meantime, is there any trick for use the Google Earth standalone app for websites that use the Plug in API?

    Cheers

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  92. come on guys, if i get over a 5000 replys to this message i'll contact google and say, look theres loads of people who want google earth but cant stand INTERNET EXPLORER, so why are we deprived at lookin, in detail at our galactic location its out of order. Opera is the most user friendly browser thumbs down to microsoft for making such an insucure browser. Peace out to all browsing in Opera and to those, who think it should be accessible to people who want to browse safe.

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  93. L I N U X ! ! !

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  94. According to FireFox the plugin is installed but I do not see any button to enable it.

    Google Maps looks the same as ever and does not seem to have a Google Earth toggle.

    SO - how do I go to a lat-long location using my browser and the plugin?

    Thank you!

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