Google Earth Pro 5.2: A powerful tool for professionals

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 6:00 AM

Every day, thousands of our customers rely on Google Earth Pro for its power to visualize and analyze vast amounts of global data from a large array of sources. Applications of Google Earth Pro range from analyzing environmental impacts of natural disasters to the creation of detailed presentations for prospective clients.

With yesterday's release of Google Earth Pro 5.2, we have added new data layers to give you even more information to help make the right decisions. This set of exclusive data layers allow for direct access to information on land parcels, traffic flow, and the US census results. In addition, we have added new features to enable you to visualize large data sets with amazing detail as well as to save your measurements for retrieval in the future. Google Earth Pro 5.2 also optimizes the data you import from outside sources to allow for faster rendering of your data and improved clarity at every altitude. Finally, saving the measurements you make in Google Earth Pro allows you to quickly retrieve information from your data across multiple sessions.

Google Earth Pro premier data layers

We’re happy to announce that with thus launch, discovering information about the people around you, your projects, and your clients is now much easier with the set of exclusive data layers built into Google Earth Pro.

Earth Pro now includes three new data layers:

U.S. Demographics includes demographic data (e.g. income, age, education) from 2010 and estimated 2015 values at the state, county, tract, and block group level with data from Claritas. For income and age, you can view beautifully color-coded layers enabling you to quickly zero in on target markets and even cross-reference with your own layers.



U.S. Parcel data gives you critical parcel and building information such as Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN), use codes, and zoning data. You can also get more detailed reports, such as sales history, by purchasing a DataQuick PDF report, which is linked to within the layer.



U.S. Daily Traffic Counts reports the average number of cars that have passed through an intersection in the US.



Processing large data sets

Google Earth Pro has always been a great tool for importing and viewing GIS data. However, it has been difficult to import very large data sets and view them interactively. Now, with the release of Google Earth Pro 5.2, we’ve introduced new tools for processing and preparing complex vector files and high resolution images that allow for fast, interactive browsing of your data. These tools, leveraging the same technology used to create the core Google Earth layers, divide or “regionate” data into many smaller files which are loaded dynamically. This ensures that only the data which is in view needs to be retrieved, maintaining a high level of performance. With vector data regionation, Google Earth Pro 5.2 will prevent data congestion at high altitudes while still allowing you to access the data points you care about.

When importing image overlays into Google Earth Pro you now have the option to create what is called a super image overlay, another form of data regionation. The new super image overlay feature automatically creates image tiles with the appropriate image resolution for every altitude. Similar to the base imagery already included in Google Earth Pro, you will now be able to seamlessly zoom in from high altitudes to extremely detailed lower altitudes without forcing Google Earth to load the entire image file while viewing a specific portion of your imagery. The use of image regionation dramatically speeds up the rendering process and in doing so, allows you to visualize complex imagery quickly and efficiently. Never again will you be forced to lose image clarity in order to retain the speed and agility you expect from Google Earth. Of course, data sets processed in Google Earth Pro can be shared with all 700 million Google Earth users around the world.

On the Google Earth team, we often find ourselves in the situation where we have large images of current events that we want to publish quickly. In these cases, we use this same regionation technology to quickly publish imagery to the world. One such example was the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. This image of the National Mall on Inauguration day would have been far too large to download and view as a single file, but as a fully regionated KML file, you can easily navigate this stunning image of the inauguration without slowing down your computer.



Enhanced Measurements

Lastly, in Google Earth 5.2 you now have the ability to save paths and polygons created by the measurement tool as KML. This will allow you to share measurements with co-workers and return to them later if you want to review measurements you’ve made. In addition to being able to save your measurements as KML, we’ve also added the ability to view measurements of existing paths and polygons. This allows you to quantify the information that until now you could only inspect visually.

To purchase Google Earth Pro, visit our online store or sign up for a 7-day free trial. You can also read more about Google Earth Pro on our website at http://earth.google.com/pro.

We hope you enjoy these new features.