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October 2009
What's New in Google Earth?

Google Earth 5.1 Released

Google Earth 5.1 Released
Last month we introduced version 5.1 of Google Earth. Our primary goal for this version was to improve performance. We've made a lot of adjustments under the hood, like improving memory utilization so we can show more buildings, layers, and user content. We also worked to reduce stuttering (known as frame drops) to provide an even smoother experience as you fly around the globe. We now use better compression technology to use less memory and graphics resources. We know that waiting for a program to start-up can be really frustrating, so we improved our start-up time by 25%. What does all of this mean to you? A faster, smoother experience when you're flying around the globe. Keep watching for future updates. Read more.

September Imagery Update in Google Earth

New and Updated Imagery
A new and updated imagery update was made to Google Earth in September. You can find details on the updates listed here, or you can download this file in Google Earth to see the locations of the imagery directly. Don't forget you can use the View->Historical Imagery option to see other imagery choices through the time slider.

LegoLand in Street View

New 3D Cities Released
In September a number of new cities with photo-realistic 3D buildings have been added: Copenhagen, Denmark; Marseilles and Dijon, France; Dublin, Ireland; Cardiff, Wales; and Birmingham, England. And, several cities now have the 3D shapes of buildings without textures (gray buildings): Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mexico City, Mexico; Caracas, Venezuela; and Santiago, Chile. If you don't see your favorite city listed, you should still check Google Earth with the 3D Buildings layer turned on. Many people are contributing 3D buildings to the 3D Warehouse which are also added to the layer.

Ocean Expeditions Layer in Google Earth

Ocean Expeditions Layer Updated
Last month we made a significant update to our Ocean Expeditions layer in the Ocean folder in Google Earth. Each ship icon represents the most recent post from either a live expedition or one within the last 6 months (look for the yellow-filled ship icon) or the post from the beginning of a historical expedition (look for the blue-filled ship icon). We now have over 40 ocean expeditions in the layer folder. You can turn on the layer, or open this kml in Google Earth and start exploring! Read more.

Afghanistan News in Google Earth

Korea Tourism Layer
If you've dreamt of traveling to beautiful Korea, you can now turn on the "Korea Tourism" layer under the Gallery->Travel and Tourism folder in Google Earth to make a virtual visit or get a jump-start on planning your trip. The Korea Tourism Organization has worked to develop this Korea Tourism layer, which allows you to discover rich information about landmarks and attractions all over the country. Read more.

Climate Change Tour in Google Earth

Climate Change
We launched a new series of narrated Google Earth tours all about climate change as part of Google's effort to make climate information accessible leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December. You can view the first released tour, Confronting Climate Change (a video excerpt, full version for Google Earth here ), narrated by Al Gore that takes you through some of the worst impacts expected due to our changing climate, and points us towards the upcoming tours introducing the range of solutions for confronting it. Read more.

Where in the World

Where in the world?
Somewhere in the Google Earth imagery is this interesting feature. Can you find it? 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!

  • In this country, Christmas is celebrated in summer.
  • The country's highest mountain is also known as 'Aoraki'.
  • Maori is one of the official languages.
Borneo Orangutan Survival

Borneo Orangutan Survival
Google Earth Outreach grantee, the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation has for some time now been diligently working to enhance their KML showing the Samboja Lestari reserve in Borneo and their program to protect orangutans.

Quote from BOS
"The Google Earth view of the Samboja Lestari forestation and orangutan protection project enables donors and interested public to see the progress made in Borneo: the satellite overlay visualizes impressively how the forest is growing and recolonizing the area." Read more.

Top Content

Other Updates

Update to the Google Earth API Docs
We have re-vamped the documenation for the Google Earth API including new features, and improved readability. The documentation is intended for software developers. See the new Earth API documentation.

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