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Google Earth Launching For Free

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the yay-free-planet dept.

Google 405

Nathan Weinberg writes "Google launches Keyhole 3 today, rebranded Google Earth, and are dumping the subscription rate (except for a $20/year "plus" versions with prettier pictures) available soon at earth.google.com. The program lets you fly around a 3D globe, with overhead satellite photos, tilted 45-degree photos, 3D rendered buildings, and overlays that display everything from roads to hotels to bike routes. I have a lot of info and screenshots at InsideGoogle, and Search Engine Watch has a big writeup. With yesterday's Google Video release, this is shaping up to be a major week for the search giant."

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Linux (3, Interesting)

bcmm (768152) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933810)

Anyone tested this in Wine (or something with better 3D support like Cedega) yet? Any luck?

Re:Linux (2, Informative)

budgenator (254554) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933967)

won't run under wine on my machine, but I didn't expect it to, when a page talks about what video cards it runs with you can be pretty sure an OS emulator is out of the question.

Re:Linux (1)

dastrike (458983) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934059)

Doesn't seem to be working. Tested with Wine 20050524 and Cedega 4.3. Barfs at the installer already.

Re:Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12934194)

-- while true; do eject /dev/cdrom; eject -t /dev/cdrom; done

For best effect, add that script to somebody's .xinitrc. Very entertaining. I never got around to it, but I was planning on adding something like that to the .xinitrc of every PC in my school's Linux lab.

Re:Linux (2, Informative)

gabebear (251933) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934061)

No go on my machine (Debian Sarge)

The installer failed with regular Wine, with WineX 3.3-1 it installed but still wouldn't run.

Since they are working on a Mac version I imagine they will also at least look into releasing a Linux port.

VMware (1)

Ken Broadfoot (3675) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934086)

Direct X Google Earth "no worky" with my VMware Windows XP Pro either. But I did not expect it too, either.


Re:Linux (1)

jamesshuang (598784) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934131)

Wine worked through install and login with 20041019, but all it did was give me a window with a lot of corrupt pictures. In other words, it almost works...

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12933812)

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Corrupted download (2, Funny)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933823)

I get a CRC error when I try to unpack the .exe

Yeah, yeah, yeah... I know. IT'S BEEEEEETAAAAA.

Google should change their logo to put that little Beta under the 'le'.

Re:Corrupted download (1)

swimmar132 (302744) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933947)

Then, uh, download it again. Not google's fault that your internet connection sucks.

Re:Corrupted download (2, Funny)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934001)

Oh yeah, that's right, I forget. I signed up for the UDP-only connection. Sheesh.

Re:Corrupted download (1)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934119)

Well it's obviously Google's fault then. That you are probably the only person with a CRC error just means that they've singled you out specifically so you can harp on the "beta" thing that Google assigns to products that *gasp* happen to be in beta.


Wow! (2, Interesting)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933824)

Looks like we need to take advantage of this to plot Wi-Fi Everywhere [wifimaps.com]. Rock on, guys, see you at the next interview interval.

Re:Wow! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12933892)

Thank you for even more ads on Slashdot, fucktard.

Better (5, Informative)

m85476585 (884822) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933825)

It is like NASA World Wind [nasa.gov], but better.

Re:Better (1)

HyperChicken (794660) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933925)

They're different. NASA World Wind has no annoying streaming problems, for example. However, it doesn't have this sweet... um... Google branding?

Re:Better (2, Informative)

anhdres (844345) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934030)

i'm not in the US, but in southamerica, and world wind has better names and locators for worldwide locations of towns, minor cities, lakes, etc.

Re:Better (3, Interesting)

samtihen (798412) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934074)

I agree about the streaming. It doesn't seem right to me that Keyhole, now Google Earth, loads more slowly than Google Maps. They clearly use the same map data in almost all cases. And in some cases, I even like the Google Maps interface better. For instance, the 'double-click to center' seems easier than the Google Earth 'double-click to center and zoom'.

However, Google Earth does have some serious advantages in altitude sensitive data. I like being able to see what elevation my mouse curser is at, for instance.

Additionally, Google Earth has the much needed city and road data for the rest of the world, which I would like to see incorporated into Google Maps as well.

Yes it is like World Wind (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12933992)

They're both Windows-only.

Fuck you, Google, fuck you NASA.

Google Earth Free As In Beer (5, Funny)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933827)

Wait... Sorry, that should have read:

Google Earth Free As In Beer Store Locator.

Wow (3, Funny)

sosume (680416) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933828)

This is the best web application I have seen for years. Now I will be able top spy on my neighbours from the other side of the house!

No linux interface.. (2, Informative)

clueless123 (643205) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933833)


Yeah... (3, Interesting)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933855)

Google, you're all about Linux- why can't ya come up with a Linux (and a MacOS X) version, hm?

Re:Yeah... (1)

Nicholas Evans (731773) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933961)

Or, you know, at least MENTION Linux...I mean, if you can say the word 'Mac', can you at least ACKNOWLEDGE the fact that us Linux users exist? But then again, it's not like your server clusters are Linux based or anything...

Mac will be supported, Linux not mentioned (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933986)

Interestingly, they nod to the Mac community:

  1. Google Earth is a broadband, 3D application that not all computers can run.
  2. Apple Macintosh computers are not supported at this time (but we are working on it).
  3. Windows-based desktop PCs older than 4 years old may not be able to run it.
  4. Windows-based notebook PCs older than 2 years old may not be able to run it.

Re:Mac will be supported, Linux not mentioned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12934054)

Wait, why is that interesting?

Re:Yeah... (2, Insightful)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934095)

They bought this software to another company, they didn't started it from scratch. So, I find reasonable that they are focusing on getting the first release out, then consider porting to another platforms...it's possible that the software depends too much in windows-specific things to be ported to linux at all.

Re:No linux interface.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12934045)

Yeah I mean, why aren't they making a version for a small segment that has next to no 3d cards that have decent 3d drivers?

If they made it for just Nvidia, people would bitch, "They're not OSS drivers, comeon google why are you slacking?"

Welcome to the real world linux fanboys, and kudos to Google on an interesting product.

digg.com (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12933834)

Already posted on digg.

examples of 3D buildings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12933849)

I have been unable to find examples of 3D buildings - anyone else have luck?

Re:examples of 3D buildings? (2, Informative)

wjsteele (255130) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933896)

New York is full of them. Just use the Shift-Arrow combinations to tilt the view.


Re:examples of 3D buildings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12934177)

Also San Fransisco.

Re:examples of 3D buildings? (4, Funny)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934058)

I have been unable to find examples of 3D buildings - anyone else have luck?

My town is littered with them. In fact, I'm sitting in one right now. They should be pretty easy to spot; a good rule of thumb is that if something is tall enough to trip over, it's 3D.

Recommended configuration (0, Troll)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933850)


Next, Google will offer free RAM over net or what?

Re:Recommended configuration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12933909)

Hello and welcome to 2005. Please enjoy your stay.

Re:Recommended configuration (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933916)

Well, considering I saw 256mb sticks of ram on newegg.com for 7.99 a few days ago, I'm not so sure it's really such a big deal. :]

Re:Recommended configuration (1)

wootest (694923) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933924)

If you run a recent Windows machine (which is what's needed) which does *not* have 512MB of RAM, I pity you.

To Larry and Sergey (0, Redundant)

scovetta (632629) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933856)

Thanks for not being evil!

Re:To Larry and Sergey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12933912)

Yeah, it's great of those guys not to support the evil monopoly of Microsoft! They really showed them with a simulatenous Windows, Mac and *nix release!

Re:To Larry and Sergey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12934088)

Your obesquiousness is going to waste here -- the Wil Wheaton story is crying out for you!

Best Week? (1)

zabagel (731529) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933873)

Every week for Google is a "best week." This does seem useful, as I am terrible with directions.

This is amazing (4, Informative)

Otik2 (317009) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933881)

Wow, this is great. The images are better than what they have for Google Maps, at least for my house (I can zoom in a lot farther). And the tilting and rotating are really fun. They have a few famous sightseeing places included by default, and just rotating and zooming around the Three Sisters or Yosemite was almost breathtaking. Integrating with their direction and local services is probably a good idea, though I doubt I'll use it much, but the images themselves are very well done. Good job, Google.

Been using often this morning.... (5, Informative)

doormat (63648) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933882)

Its actually pretty addictive for a GIS geek like myself. Plus it was neat to have it help me plan my camping trip this weekend.

It totally blows away any geographical user interface ESRI or Autodesk or anyone else has. They should be embarrassed with their current ArcIMS and MapGuide products - such rudimentary interfaces and poor performance.

Whats even more interesting is the Google Earth Enterprise suite. Being able to load my own satellite data and GIS data into this would be interesting. But like I've said before in other posts about google maps, the biggest problem for GIS groups would be the lack of an "Identify" tool (perhaps its there but I havent seen it in any of the screenshots). And still no scale bar at the bottom either, though they do have a north arrow.

Yet again no *nix version. (4, Informative)

caluml (551744) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933886)

Minimum configuration:

* Operating system: Windows 2000, Windows XP
* CPU speed: Intel® Pentium® PIII 500 MHz
* System memory (RAM): 128MB
* 200MB hard-disk space
* 3D graphics card: 3D-capable video card with 16MB VRAM
* 1024x768, 32-bit true color screen
* Network speed: 128 kbps ("Broadband/Cable Internet")
I/m getting a little tired of Google completely forgetting the numerous Linux and Unix users.

Re:Yet again no *nix version. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12933935)

Come on. How many Linux and Unix users have "Broadband/Cable Internet" anyway?

Re:Yet again no *nix version. (4, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933996)

You got it backwards. Google knows the penchant Windows users have for pretty pictures. That's why, all this 3D and 45degree angle jazz is for those snobbish Windows users. For us Unix and Linux people, Google will release a tool that will allow us to draw our own buildings on Earth. I say that will kick ass!

Re:Yet again no *nix version. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12934013)

Yeah, it's really too goddamn bad you had to pay for it, and not even be able to use it.

Oh, wait.

Re:Yet again no *nix version. (0, Flamebait)

ta ma de (851887) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934075)

This was going to be my post. I wish google would stop giving Bill and Steve B. rim jobs. I would think that google employees with OSX or Linux on their desk would be sick of not being able to use the products that their company develops too. WTF.

Re:Yet again no *nix version. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12934117)

Are these the same "numerous linux users" with 3D cards that are supported by the manufacturer? Oh that's right there aren't any.

The amount of time they'd have to spend trying to get it to run on just a small segment of linux desktops that might have a nvidia card, that might have the latest X.org, that might have the latest closed sourced drivers. They could add a ton of functionality to the windoze version AND make an OS X version.

Let's please try and stay in reality people.

Google... (1)

AsnFkr (545033) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933904)

The most giving and innovative collection of people in the world? It's cliched to say, but holy crap every day it seems like something amazing is done by this company. Big ups.

Re:Google... (1)

HyperChicken (794660) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934014)

Uhh... They bought the thing, didn't they? They bought it from Keyhole, no? And now have branded it and what not?

Does it supports GPSbabel/GSAK (2, Interesting)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933918)

painting waypoint, tracks and routes over the maps?

Re:Does it supports GPSbabel/GSAK (2, Insightful)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933973)

Just answered my own question: Directory of C:\Program Files\Google\Google Earth Plus

2005-06-25 15:15 434 241 GoogleEarth.exe
2005-06-20 15:00 368 640 gpsbabel.exe
2 File(s) 802 881 bytes
gram Files\Google\Google Earth Plus

For this and other google news... (4, Informative)

Sebastian Jansson (823395) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933920)

Well, I guess Slashdot already have a quite complete coverage of Google stuff, but if you wan't to beat the rush for some hours I recommend the Google Blog [blogspot.com] (with RSS)

Hell Building Instead Of Planet Building... (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933922)

Won't be long before someone comes up with a version of Hell. Oh, wait a minute. I forgot that AOL cornered that market. I'm sure Microsoft is working on something, and an open source version shouldn't be too far behind. Although it's a bit hard to improve on hot, hotter, and hottest.

No Mac for you! (0, Redundant)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933934)

Just remember, if you are running an OS X box:

"We currently do not offer a Macintosh version of Google Earth."

Maybe next year with the Intel OS X boxes.

This is cool! (1)

Yhippa (443967) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933949)

I've been spending some time travelling the world via Google satellite imagery so far. I like the way things are coming together for this company what with this seeming philosophy of "search the world."

I can't wait to see what else is in store. I have been reading the concept of all this tying together to be like a portable OS, which would be great. All they would need to really kick this off is some sort of office suite, storage, and calendar functionality, right?

Who's with me?

D'oh (1)

Morganth (137341) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933962)

I just "splurged" and bought myself a $29.95 subscription to Keyhole a few days ago. Now what?

Man, just my luck. Just when I thought being able to show girls how I zoomed into their backyard and saw a fuzzy sattelite photo of them sunbathing topless was gonna get me laid. Now every Joe Schmo geek will be able to do it.

I guess I'll just stick to writing some social [thefacebook.com] network [friendster.com] things until it finally happens for me.

The death of paid content? (1)

htrp (894193) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933979)

I noticed this in conjunction with the giving away of CNN video last week. Is this another death knell in the paid content arena?
The thing I am beginning to notice is that the apparently we, internet users as a group, are against the idea of paying web based subscriptions. However, we are willing to pay money to get better services or to actually "own" a product. Case in point for google, the ability to use NMEA GPS to feed directly into google earth is worth an extra twenty dollars. And I do believe that iTunes is wildly more popular than napster for this very reason. If this trend continues to hold, should yahoo start offering us those music downloads for free, albeit at a lower quality? (Since they already stream music for free from launch).

By the way is there any mention of any ads within the software, or is google just giving this out for free now?

Re:The death of paid content? (1)

yellowbkpk (890493) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934202)

There are no ads in the program. The UI is pretty packed and unless they put text ads over the image or have "geoads" on the map, there's not much room for advertisement.

No Mac Version (0, Redundant)

WatertonMan (550706) | more than 8 years ago | (#12933980)

Once again no Mac version for a Google program. Come on guys. Share the love! You guys don't support OSX at all!

WinXP as VMWare guest - no DirectX (1)

papaia (652949) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934015)

The title says it all - so for those of us (unlucky enouch) to be running Linux, the VMWare Windows XP install does not seem to support the faster method of DirectX ... that much for it ...

Patents (2, Funny)

VanWEric (700062) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934018)

I believe Google is infringing on prior art on the whole "Earth" thing. They are attempting to rebrand it, push it as an original and then patent it away from the original creator - God.

God will soon be unable to continue providing his "competing" Earth service due to rigorous patent laws, and everyone will PERISH - All because Google has the legal power to take a page from MS's book and assert that it was their idea in the first place.

Please contact your local congress(wo)man today and let hir know of this nefarious plot.

Now all I need... (1)

tktk (540564) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934036)

is a Google-branded GPS system to tie into Google Earth. Then I could have a realtime You Are Here.

Re:Now all I need... (2, Informative)

Momoru (837801) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934158)

Its not Google branded, but you can tie into a GPS with Google Earth Pro.

Windows Only (1)

adam.conf (893668) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934041)

Google, in their holy crusade against Microsoft has launched their most powerful attack on the monopoly yet -- offering a Windows only tool. Google... What happened?

My jaw has dropped and it can't get up! (1)

cabazorro (601004) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934051)

The zoom effects in quaility are next to none. This people are dangerous! People at Google: we are not worthy! we are not worthy! we are not worthy! we suck!!

when can we get a google mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12934085)

or google moon?

Google is all we need. (1)

KrisCowboy (776288) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934087)

Considering the pace at which Google is moving with it's new products, looks like future computers will be needing just a web-browser to do most of the daily work. Pity we need an OS to run a browser.

Why should anyone else bother (1)

msbmsb (871828) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934164)

Great products for free. Some of the best engineers/scientists in the world. Constant amazing releases and press... How many people are just giving up on their aspirations to innovate now, or are replacing their aspirations with "* work at google"?

Is there even a desire for Google competitors? Reading /. it would seem the answer is no, that people are willing to let Google be the only software company.

Pilots: Flight Approaches (2, Interesting)

The_Pey (532136) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934098)


What a great way to visualize approaches to airports you haven't been to before. Just go to the airport you want, tilt the view angle and line up on the runway and you've got a perfect perspective of what the surrounding environs look like. No more trying to blindly search for the airport as you go to a new one. You can research ahead of time and get all your landmarks down pat!

probably a stupid question (1)

BlackShirt (690851) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934111)

... as most of you are drooling over new features. google maps, google earth. is there any business cases that some small company actually benefits from these? how.

Wine (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934112)

Does it run in Wine? Their web page mentions the use of OpenGL for rendering, which is obviously a good sign... anyone tried that?

in Soviet Russia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12934114)

Google launches YOU off of the earth for free???


More news: personalized search (1)

UbuWu (888315) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934122)

I am very surprised the personalized search feature based on your search history hasn't been news on slashdot yet... I was nicely surprised with it this morning... maybe on slashdot tomorrow... making google's week complete!

Re:More news: personalized search (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12934133)

What the hell are you talking about? Mind linking to whatever it is and not just talking about it?

Re:More news: personalized search (1)

UbuWu (888315) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934197)

It just turned up when I was using google this morning... although I don't see any sign of it now anymore... There was a notice that my personal search history would be used to improve search results. Also the help page said that the links I would click on where used to further improve the results... see also: http://google-blog.dirson.com/post.new/0266/ [dirson.com]

Holy S*** (1)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934135)

That's all I've got to say. That app is AWESOME.

The guys at MapQuest have got to be feeling like total losers these days. It's hard to believe I once thought MapQuest was cool.

How long will this last? (2, Insightful)

DownTownMT (649551) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934145)

Is it just me, or does anyone else wonder how long this service will be available to the general public for free?

I can see the Dept of Homeland Security not liking this project one bit as anyone anywhere can get the layouts of every city and street with a broadband connection.

Don't get me wrong, I think this is a great tool, but i feel it won't exist without debate.

That's nice and all... but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12934161)

Where's the Mac OS X version?

First (1)

BaudKarma (868193) | more than 8 years ago | (#12934162)

...well, it would have been, except I downloaded this thing and started playing with it.

It's seriously cool. Ran amazingly smoothly, too! Not something I'd want to run off a dialup, though.

Nice. More Google spyware on your desktop (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12934201)

More cross referencing data between your Google desktop search, your Google internet search, your Gmail, your blogspot account and now this.

And well, when Google goes belly up it will nice to sell all that fat juicy data to whoever the highest bidder is.

Fuck off Google. You are not wanted
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