Google Earth 5 is here! As a geography fanatic, I'm happy that a new version is out. With several new features, such as:
- Historical viewing (!)
- Ocean Floor Viewing
- Tour Recording
Among several improvements such as adding more 3D buildings. At about this time, all the major cities have almost all their buildings in 3D. This is a fantastically pulled off feat. However, some may be disappointed that some cities have many buildings that are just white, no detailed color. This was the case for Washington D.C., although almost all of the buildings were in 3D, only the landmarks were in color.
Another feature is historical viewing. Using this, YOU CAN SEE SHOTS OF YOUR CITY FROM ALL THE WAY TO BACK TO 1940. This of course, is not perfect at all. If you want to see what Nazi Germany looked like in the early 40's in high detail, you're out of luck. It is very hard to explain how this historical viewing system is organized. It seems like in the 90's, America is the only place to have black and white satellite images, but it is in somewhat high detail. The rest of the world is in color, but not detailed at all. This changes as time goes back and forth. This feature just seems very mushy (in a bad way) and you can't really get anything out of what this historical viewing feature is offering.
Now we go to a feature that is actually useful and is actually not broken. This is the Tour Recording, which is allows you to record tours of whatever you want; it essentially just records your screen as your browsing this world called Earth. You can playback these tours and save them. In addition, although I haven't tested it, I believe you can record your voice like commentary using a mic while doing your tour, as there is a button with a Mic symbol on it.
Finally, we have Ocean Floor Viewing, a feature that allows you to explore underwater oceans, and as useless it is, IT'S BEAUTIFUL. Seriously, I'm amazed how hard it must it must have been to do all that detail for the oceans. You can find particular locations in the ocean and watch National Geographic videos of events that occurred in that area of the ocean. If you don't believe how beautiful it looks, look at the picture below.
So, as mediocre as this beta is, it is still filled with great concepts that just need work. A lot of it.