Initially released in 2001 and acquired by Google three years after, Google Earth is a geobrowser that allows users to travel virtually. Available for free download, this program is not only a virtual globe but also a map showing street views of any location. It also offers satellite images of the earth, with 2D aerial images of places as well as 3D images of terrains and some buildings.
Aside from seeing the street you grew up in or the house of where a famous celebrity lives, Google Earth also offers highlights. These include viewing downloaded images of the planet Mars by NASA via the Live from Mars layer, viewing models of 3D rovers and seeing high-resolution panoramic views of the planet and taking an interactive tour of Mars, among others.
For the Sky highlight, one can see how the planets move as well as the constellations in the sky. It is also possible to see images of other objects in the outer space and galaxies. Conversely, for the Moon highlight, there are tours of the landing sites as narrated by astronauts. There is also footage of Apollo missions and images of landed spacecraft in 3D. Meanwhile, the Ocean highlight gives one the chance to explore the mystery under the sea.
Google Earth can be downloaded for free on Android devices, desktops and iPhones. While it is basically for personal use, businesses can also enjoy these features and more with Google Earth Pro. Now, this version can also be downloaded for free. With it, business owners can map addresses, print images in high-resolution for business presentations and reports. Moreover, it is possible to compute distances and areas as well as import large vector images.
Indeed, Google Earth is a popular and widely used geobrowser but if you are looking for Google Earth alternatives for 2017, you’d be surprised to know options do exist.