Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps,
terrain, 3D buildings and even explore galaxies in the Sky. You can explore
rich geographical content, save your toured places and share with others.
To put it simply, Google Earth is a globe that sits inside your computer. It
combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the
world's geographic information at your fingertips.
Point and zoom to any place on the planet to view satellite images and local
points of interest.
Zoom to a specific address to check out an apartment or hotel.
View driving directions and even fly along your route.
Google Earth is a virtual globe program that was originally called Earth Viewer,
and was created by Keyhole, Inc, a company acquired by Google in 2004. It
maps the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite
imagery, aerial photography and GIS 3D globe. It is available under three
different licenses: Google Earth, a free version with limited functionality;
Google Earth Plus ($20 per year), which includes additional features; and
Google Earth Pro ($400 per year), which is intended for commercial use.
The product, renamed Google Earth in 2006, is currently available for use on
personal computers running Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, or Vista, Mac OS X
10.3.9 and above, Linux (released on June 12, 2006), and FreeBSD. Google
Earth is also available as a browser plug-in (released on June 2, 2008) for
Firefox, IE6, or IE7. It was also made available on the iPhone OS on October
27, 2008, as a free download from the App Store. In addition to releasing an
updated Keyhole based client, Google also added the imagery from the Earth
database to their web based mapping software. The release of Google Earth in
mid 2006 to the public caused a more than tenfold increase in media coverage
on virtual globes between 2006 and 2007,] driving public interest in geospatial
technologies and applications.