Monday, June 14, 2010 at 12:32 PMToday we are proud to announce the latest version of the Google Earth desktop application, Google Earth 5.2. With this release, we are bringing exciting new features to both the free version, Google Earth, as well as our paid professional version, Google Earth Pro.
Over the next couple of days we’ll be diving into these features in more detail, but I wanted to give you an overview of what Google Earth 5.2 brings.
Visualize your hiking, biking, and running tracks
Google Earth has always been a great tool for viewing your outdoor activities, whether it be hiking, running, biking, skiing, sailing, or just about any other way you choose to explore the world. With the release of Google Earth 5.0, we added the ability to connect your GPS device directly to Google Earth and import your track. Now, with Google Earth 5.2, we’ve added the ability to view elevation, speed, and other data as a graph directly in Google Earth. Just connect your GPS device to upload your track, and select “View Elevation Profile” from the menu. This will bring up elevation and speed graphs. If your GPS device records additional information such as heart rate or cadence, these will also be available to view in the graph. You can also see statistics such as total elevation, maximum slope, and average speed. You can select a portion of your ride and get statistics for just that section.
We’ve also improved the way you can play back your trip. Just click on the time animation button, and relive all those twists and turns in your journey. You can even quickly and easily generate a tour of your trip. This video shows a tour that I generated from my bike ride into work.
Integrated web browser
Google Earth is a “geo-browser” - a great tool for exploring places, businesses, and photos around the globe. However, sometimes when you want more information, you may want to click through to a link to see the full Google Places page for a business, or learn more about a photographer whose photo you really enjoy. In the past, this has required opening a link in an external browser to see the full page. For Google Earth 5.2, we’ve added an embedded browser that lets you browse the full web. Click on a link, and the browser pane slides across the screen. When you want to return to the Earth view, just click the “Back” button and you’re back exploring the world!
While Google Earth has been downloaded by over 700 million people all around the world, not everyone is aware that we also have a professional version, Google Earth Pro, which gives the powerful tools needed by engineers, real-estate professionals, governments, and others to process and visualize large geographic data sets. Google Earth Pro 5.2 brings new features to our professional users, including:
- Parcel, demographic, and traffic data layers for the US
- Improved GIS importing
- Automatic generation of super-overlays for very large image files
- Automatic regioning of large point and vector data sets
- Support for MGRS grid system
We’ll be following up shortly with more details on these great new features in Google Earth 5.2. However, if you to get started right now, go to http://earth.google.com to download it. Happy trails!