Have you ever wished to soar above the globe, dive deep in the ocean or launch into outer space? Google Earth 5 download can help you do that. If you can put up with an inelegant interface, a controversial update system and a few bugs, then the pleasure of a superhero’s eye view of the world is just too much fun to stay away from.
Google Earth applies topographical data and satellite imagery to a 3D globe. You will even see completely textured 3D landmarks and buildings in some major cities. It’s possible to improve these maps by adding relevant data including YouTube videos, Wikipedia entries and photographs. Learning the basics of the program is easy, but for something more difficult, you will need to read Google’s online user guide.
New features included in Google Earth 5 are historical imagery, tours and ocean views. The Ocean layer allows you to dive in the water to discover the ocean floor and add different nautical layers, including YouTube videos from the BBC and National Geographic and shipwreck sites. But while the videos are interesting, the ocean floor appears surprisingly flat and boring. Also, looking for subsea locations is hit or miss.
Historical imagery allows you to go back and forth on a timeline of accessible satellite and aerial photography. Tours permit you to share journeys with other users of Google Earth 5 download, either by recording what you observe or automatically following a prearranged route. You can add text, images and audio to explain various landmarks.
Using Google Earth 5 is fun and the cost is certainly right. However, it is often too eager to be functional that it can be impractical. With lots of data layers, it is hard to know where to start. While it is possible to switch individual layers off and on, it is sometimes difficult to identify from layer names alone whether they’ll be interesting or useful.
The interface seemed cramped on a 13” laptop screen, squeezing Places, Layers and Fly To panes into the sidebar to the main window’s left side. Seeing the content of every pane takes lots of strolling and expanding one only makes the other panes smaller. The program also has several bugs. Sometimes, description in the Places window illegibly displays text on top of other texts.
Privacy buffs might also object to the Update Engine of Google that installs with the program and cannot be removed or deactivated on its own.
Instead of checking for updates when the program is opened, the Mac version checks for updates once on a daily basis. It also unnoticeably activates every 2 hours to check if a day has passed since the last check, whether Google Earth runs or not. The program informs you about the updater before installing, but if you are not that concerned about an unseen program under your PC’s hood, you may prefer to turn it off.
In general, Google Earth 5 provides a lot of educational information in an enjoyable package. Its nonexistent cost also makes its minor difficulties far more understandable. If you don’t mind the updater, the Google Earth 5 is well worth a try.