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December 2009
What's New in Google Earth?

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Again this year, NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, will turn its tracking assets to follow Santa as he makes his gift-giving journey around the world. You’ll be able to follow Santa using the Google Earth Plug-In for your browser. On Christmas Eve, just visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website and click on the Track Santa in Google Earth link. For more information on the NORAD Tracks Santa program, check out the Google Lat Long Blog.

December Imagery Updates in Google Earth

New and Updated Imagery
New and updated imagery was added to Google Earth in December including updates for Mars! Take a look the changes (marked in red) from our update posts here and here, or view this file in Google Earth directly. Don't forget you can use the View -> Historical Imagery option to see other imagery choices through the time slider. Also, as a reminder, you can view Mars in Google Earth by clicking the 'planets' button on the toolbar.

UNESCO World Heritage

UNESCO World Heritage
We're delighted to be announcing a global alliance with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). You can now navigate through a Google Earth Layer , locate and zoom to hundreds of sites with World Heritage status around the globe, all linking back to UNESCO's detailed webpage. We have also released new Street View imagery for 19 UNESCO sites around Europe. Read more.

High Res Facades in Google Earth

High Res Facades in Google Earth
Your virtual trips are starting to get a whole lot more detailed! Using our latest processing techniques, we've upgraded the 3D buildings in several US cities. We started with five California downtowns – San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, Stockton – and recently added Austin, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Portland. Make sure the 3D Buildings layer is visible and take a look at how rich and crisp the building facades now look. Read more.

Google Model your Town Competition

Google Model your Town Competition
Put your town on the 3D map! We launched the Google Model Your Town Competition last month and it's open to everyone (not only students), just about everywhere. This is a great opportunity to show the world what makes your town special. Form a team, model buildings (with SketchUp or Building Maker) and sign up by March 1, 2010. If your town wins, a bunch of Googlers from the SketchUp team will visit, throw you a party and do our best to make you look like the local hero that you are. Add a pin to the competition map to help round up modeling teammates. Check out the competition website for details.

Google Earth Outreach at COP15

Special Report - Google Earth Outreach at COP15
Yet another busy month in the life of Google Earth Outreach! Well, I guess that's why they call it Outreach! Last month, we traveled to Africa to take part in AfricaGIS. This month we have swapped continents and attended the COP15 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. As the focal point of Google Earth's participation at COP15, we have released a series of Climate Change Tours. For more information about these tours and our participation at COP15 please read more.

Where in the World

Where in the World?
Somewhere in the Google Earth imagery is this interesting feature. Can you find it? Be sure to click the image above for a larger view of this location. See if you can be the first person with the correct answer here. Perhaps you'd like some clues on where to start your search? OK!

  • This location is situated somewhere in the world's third largest ocean
  • This location though not on the mainland, is administered by Australia
  • This is the place to go to see Gecarcoidea natalis.
Place Pages in Google Earth

Place Pages in Google Earth
Following our successful launch of Place Pages on Google Maps in September, we recently launched the same rich Place Pages in Google Earth. When you click a Place, Business, or Populated Place in Earth, you will see a summary of rich information about that place and can then click the View more information » link if you'd like to see more. You can also expand individual sections to see great reviews, photos, web pages, or user content about that place.

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