Google Maps desktop app adds 3D ‘Earth Tours’, real time traffic reports, & StreetView improvements

Find imagery coverage with Pegman

Google just announced a few updates rolling out to the new Google Maps desktop app today. Users will now be able to highlight StreetView imagery, user-uploaded photos, and PhotoSpheres on the map by clicking a new pegman icon in the lower right corner of their screen (pictured above). StreetView imagery will be highlighted in light blue, Photo Spheres as darker blue circles, and indoor imagery as yellow circles.

In addition, the update brings a touch of Google Earth over to the Maps desktop app with new bird’s-eye view 3D Earth Tours for all WebGL-enabled browsers.

Explore beautiful, 3D imagery of buildings and terrain for thousands of locations from above with Earth Tours available right in your browser.* Wherever you see the Earth Tour icon, you can click, sit back, and get a virtual tour from a soaring angle. Dive into Boston or circle the Alps.

Google is also rolling out a new preview UI for directions. Now, when viewing individual steps for directions you’ll see StreetView imagery on each step where available, allowing you to get a better sense of your surroundings for an upcoming turn or exit. Google also notes that it has integrated real time traffic incident reports from its Waze acquisition like it recently did in its mobile Google Maps apps.

The new Google Maps desktop app is rolling out to all that opted into the new Google Maps preview today and to everyone else in teh coming weeks. Google also just released a video preview for the new Google Maps desktop experience that shows off some of the new features in today’s update: Read more

Google ad tells emotional story of lost Indian boy who found his family 25 years later

We first brought you the story of a 30-year-old man finding his lost mother and family using Google Earth earlier this year, and Google has posted an emotional video on YouTube of Saroo Brierley telling his story of technology leading to his reunion.

Brierly was disconnected from his family at the age of five in a turn of tragedy, and decades later saw Google Earth as an avenue to search the streets he recollected in fragments for answers of his origin. Check out the compelling video below: Read more

Google Earth gets new UI, Street View & improved directions/search, now in 100 countries

Google updated its Google Earth app for iOS and Android today with a few new features including a revamped interface that includes the left side panel it has been bringing to lots of its mobile apps.

Also new in version 7.1.1 of Earth is Google’s Street View feature, as well as improved directions and search with the ability to “visualize transit, walk, bike and drive directions in 3D while update search result list will let you browse search results quickly.” Google also announced that it is now making Google Earth available in over 100 countries worldwide:

Also with this release, we’re making Google Earth for mobile available in more than 100 countries worldwide, so you can start their virtual journey in Google Earth from almost anywhere on Earth. To unleash your inner explorer, check out your local Google Play store or iTunes to download the latest version of Earth for Android and iOS.

Version 7.1.1 of Google Earth is available on the App Store and Google Play now.  Read more

Google Earth ‘Tour Guide’ feature adds 100K new tours & 1M user-generated photos

GoogleEarth-TourGuide

Google announced today on the Google Earth Google+ page that it is launching a major update to the iOS, Android, and desktop Google Earth apps. Google is updating the tour guide and 3D imagery features it launched in October with Google Earth 7, and it announced the addition of 100,000 new tours of “popular sites, cities and places across 200 countries.” It is also adding as over 1 million user-generated Panoramio photos:

The new, richer tours combine 3D flyovers, Wikipedia snippets and – for the first time – place highlight and more than 1 million user-generated Panoramio photos in order to create an immersive and educational exploration of your favorite places. Each tour ends with a selection of photo thumbnails which were selected from Panoramio as the best representation of a given place. Clicking on one of the thumbnails enables a full screen photo experience. Read more