Google Earth relaunches with new storytelling and exploration features

Europe at night
Europe at nightNASA Earth Observatory Joshua Stevens Goddard Space Flight Center
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19 April, 2017

Google Earth for Android enables you to explore the globe with a swipe of your finger.

Next, the update introduces 3D maps for select locations so you can whizz through them and enjoy oodles more detail than with traditional satellite imagery.

The new Google Earth also includes a significantly improved 3D view of the world.

Additionally, Google is porting the infamous but less-known I'm feeling lucky feature to elevate the new Google Earth experience. Google Earth responds directly with the answer or what is it thinks is the correct answer to your voice-based search query. That info is usually provided on Google's Knowledge Cards, which you'll be familiar with if you've ever used Maps.

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Furthermore, Google has added something called Voyager which will allow you to browse "interactive guided tours" created by scientists, nonprofits and other "storytellers". Another tour allows users to visit some of the locations the BBC visited to film Planet Earth 2.

Now the new Google Earth has been made available on all desktops, Chrome; and Android as it rolls out this week.

With more than 50 immersive stories in Voyager, and more added weekly, there are lots of adventures to choose from.

That isn't all. Google Earth is borrowing the "I'm feeling lucky" button from regular search. That would give Google Earth a more practical position in Google's lineup of products - potentially tying it into other travel-related products, like its personalized travel planner, Google Trips, its online trip planning feature on the web, Google Destinations, or its airfare booking tool, Google Flights. Notice how we didn't say "random", however, and that's because tapping the new die icon actually teleports you to one of 20,000 curated locations, instead of a completely random place. On the 3D front, you can "swoop around the Grand Canyon and see geological layers, or check out the majestic architecture and pristine grounds of the 500-year-old Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley in France". There's also a fresh Android app that'll start rolling out over the coming days. iOS users and those who don't use Chrome can expect to see the new Earth soon. The exploration tool now shows all locations featured on it in 3D, giving you a attractive and unique 360 degree view.


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