Rise and Shine!

Friday, April 18, 2008 at 9:37 AM

As the amateur photographers among you will know - or anyone who's ever watched the sun rise - lighting makes a big difference in how something looks. Another cool new feature of Google Earth 4.3 is that you can now animate the Earth through different times of day! Check out how much more dramatic these hills look during sunset:

Noon

Sunset

In Google Earth 4.3, you'll see a new icon in the menu bar which lets you easily try this for yourself:


You will then see a time slider that can control the simulated the time for the sun. Move the scroll button to change the current time, and press the play button on the right to see it animated. To change other options, such as the animation speed and the time zone, click on the clock icon to the left.

This feature also works with KMLs that contain time animations. That way you can simulate not only data, but also how it looks at different times of day! You can also easily capture your favorite still images to share with others. Here's how you take a screen shot:


My favorite image is one of the Earth from space, overlaid with the cloud layer, and with the sun mode turned on: