"Google Earth utilizes broadband streaming technology and 3D graphics, much like a videogame, enabling users to interactively explore the world-- either their own neighborhood or the far corners of the globe," said John Hanke, general manager, Keyhole, Google Inc. "With many ways to access geographic information, Google provides a very rich local search experience for users worldwide."
Key features of Google Earth include:
- Free software download available at http://earth.google.com
- 3D buildings in major cities across the United States
- 3D terrain showing mountains, valleys, and canyons around the world
- Integrated Google Local search to find local information such as hotels, restaurants, schools, parks, and transportation
- Fast, dynamic navigation
- Video playback of driving directions
- Tilt, rotate, and activate 3D terrain and buildings for a different perspective on a location
- Easy creation and sharing of annotations among users
For users interested in more advanced mapping capabilities, Google Earth Plus ($20/year) offers additional features including GPS compatibility, data import, and annotation. Google Earth Pro ($400/year), for commercial use, offers high-resolution printing and GIS data import capabilities.