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Google Earth 6 adds 3-D trees, integrated Street View, to the mapping application

November 30, 2010 | 10:58 am

Google Earth 6 was released Tuesday morning, bringing a few new features to the free mapping application, such as 3-D trees and full integration with Street View.

Street View should be familiar to almost anybody who has used Google Maps.

In previous versions of Google Earth, Street View was only available for certain streets. Now, the 360-degree images of city streets are fully integrated in Google Earth. So, if it's available in Google Maps, it will be available in Google Earth 6, the company said.

Sf_goldengate1 The latest version of Google Earth gives users the ability to fly in from a digital version of outer space, with a floating Earth and stars, right to a city street or 3-D rendering of notable buildings and structures.

And, in Google Earth 6, those 3-D buildings will be sitting next to 3-D trees.

Google said it had added more than 80 million 3-D trees to Google Earth, in cities such as Athens, Berlin, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Tokyo.

The tech giant also is working with environmental organizations such as the Green Belt Movement in Africa, the Amazon Conservation Team in Brazil and CONABIO in Mexico to create 3-D models for Google Earth of some of the planet’s endangered forests.

Historic photos, introduced in Google Earth 5, also have been updated in Google Earth 6.

When old photos for a location are available, the date of the oldest imagery will appear in a status bar at the bottom of the screen. If a user clicks the date, the map will shift back to the photo from that time, or users can choose photos from time periods in between as well.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Video: Google explains updates found in Google Earth 6. Image: a screenshot of 3-D trees in a Google Earth 6 map of San Francisco. Credit: Google Inc.