Search giant Google launched its new version of Google Earth on 18 April 2017 during an Earth Day event, held at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York City. Speaking on the occasion, Rebecca Moore, Director of Google Earth stated that this is their gift to the world. She added by saying that it is a product that speaks to their deepest values around education and making information available to people. The re-imagined version of the free-mapping service includes a new ‘Voyager’ feature that will offer a whole new range of curated content. It will enable people who are digitally exploring the planet to be guided on interactive stories narrated by experts and professionals from BBC Earth, NASA, Jane Goodall Institute and Sesame Street.
The artificial intelligence will be offered to the app users in the form of “knowledge cards” that will enable them to dive deeper into the information regarding any of their chosen virtual landmarks. It will also give suggestions on other locations that the explorers might be interested in exploring based on their search history. The app also offers a new feature called ‘Feeling Lucky’ that will suggest locations of hidden gems to users who wish to go on a scavenger hunt. Users will also be able to virtually fly around the world using a 3-D button and see the places they wish. The online explorers will also be able to take pictures on their travels and send their friends digital postcards.
Speaking on the new version, Engineering Manager of Earth, Sean Askay said that this is the first time that they have done this deep integration with the Google Knowledge Graph and it would enable the users to know everything that Google knows about the world. The new version of the app was launched on Google’s Chrome and Android software. The version customised for iOS devices and other Internet browsing softwares will be released soon.This is the first that the app can be accessed through a web browser unlike earlier when it could only be reached through applications installed on devices.
It is a geo-browser which accesses satellite and geographical data over the internet and represents the same in a three-dimensional globe. It provides us with a clear view of Earth, of how its looks like naturally. It even allows the user to search for places of their choice and pan, rotate, zoom and tilt the Earth. One can search for any area on Earth through the app and such a clear view of Earth is possible because of the high-resolution image. It can even provide a link to Wikipedia articles about places that a user has shown interest in. Even Google maps app includes some features of Google Earth.