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GOOGLE EARTH is a computer program that renders a 3D representation of Earth
Earth
based on satellite imagery . Originally an eponymous product sold by Keyhole, Inc
Keyhole, Inc
, it was renamed after Google
Google
acquired the company, driving public interest in geospatial technologies and applications.

The program maps the Earth
Earth
by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery , aerial photography and GIS data onto a 3D globe, allowing users to see cities and houses at various angles. Imagery resolution ranges from 15 meters of resolution to 15 centimeters. Most areas in Google
Google
Earth
Earth
are only shown in 2D aerial imagery, but 3D images of some areas are available, mostly in major cities. For the remainder of the earth, Google
Google
Earth
Earth
uses digital elevation model (DEM) data collected by NASA
NASA
's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), laying the 2D aerial imagery on top, meaning the program renders all areas of the earth in some degree of three-dimensional modeling. Google
Google
Earth
Earth
allows users to search for addresses for some countries, and enter coordinates.

Users may use Google
Google
Earth
Earth
to add their own data, making them available through various sources, such as forums or blogs . Google Earth
Earth
is able to show various kinds of images overlaid on the surface of the earth and is also a Web Map Service client. Google
Google
Earth supports managing three-dimensional geospatial data through Keyhole Markup Language (KML).

CONTENTS

* 1 Imagery

* 1.1 3D Imagery * 1.2 Street View * 1.3 Water and ocean

* 2 Outer space
Outer space

* 2.1 Google
Google
Sky * 2.2 Google
Google
Mars
Mars
* 2.3 Google
Google
Moon
Moon

* 3 Other features

* 3.1 Flight simulator
Flight simulator
* 3.2 Liquid Galaxy

* 4 Versions and variations

* 4.1 Google
Google
Earth
Earth
Pro * 4.2 Google
Google
Earth
Earth
Plus * 4.3 Google
Google
Earth
Earth
Enterprise * 4.4 Google
Google
Earth
Earth
9 * 4.5 Google
Google
Earth
Earth
Plug-in

* 5 Google
Google
Earth
Earth
Outreach * 6 Controversy and criticism * 7 Copyright
Copyright
* 8 See also * 9 References * 10 External links

IMAGERY

Google
Google
Earth's imagery is displayed on a digital globe , which the user can navigate using a keyboard or mouse . When zoomed out, the application displays the planet's surface using a single composited image. After zooming in far enough, the imagery transitions into different imagery of the same area with finer detail, which varies in date and time from one area to the next. The imagery is retrieved from satellites or aircraft . Before the launch of NASA
NASA
and the USGS\'s Landsat 8
Landsat 8
satellite, Google
Google
relied partially on imagery from Landsat
Landsat
7 , which suffered from a hardware malfunction that left diagonal gaps in images. In 2013, Google
Google
used datamining to remedy the issue, providing what was described as a successor to the Blue Marble image of Earth, with a single large image of the entire planet. This was achieved by combining multiple sets of imagery taken from Landsat 7
Landsat 7
to eliminate clouds and diagonal gaps, creating a single "mosaic" image. Google
Google
now uses Landsat 8
Landsat 8
to provide imagery in a higher quality and with greater frequency.

Introduced in version 5.0, Google
Google
introduced Historical Imagery, allowing users to view earlier imagery. Clicking the clock icon in the toolbar opens a time slider, which marks the time of available imagery from the past. This feature allows for observation of an area's changes over time.

3D IMAGERY

Countries with 3D coverage in Google
Google
Earth
Earth
as of May 2015.

Google
Google
Earth
Earth
shows 3D building models in some cities, including photorealistic 3D imagery. The first 3D buildings in Google
Google
Earth
Earth
were created using 3D modeling
3D modeling
applications such as SketchUp
SketchUp
and, beginning in 2009, Building Maker , and were uploaded to Google
Google
Earth
Earth
via the 3D Warehouse . However, In June 2012, Google
Google
announced that it would be replacing user made 3D buildings with an auto-generated 3D mesh. This would be phased in, starting with select larger cities, with the notable exception of cities such as London
London
and Toronto
Toronto
which required more time to process detailed imagery of their vast number of buildings. The reason given is to have greater uniformity in 3D buildings, and to compete with other platforms already using the technology such as Nokia Here and Apple Maps
Apple Maps
. The coverage began that year in 21 cities in four countries. By March 2015, 3D imagery covering more than 120,000 square miles (300,000 km2) was available and by early 2016 had been expanded to hundreds of cities in over 40 countries, including every U.S. state
U.S. state
and encompassing every continent except Antarctica.

In 2009, in a collaboration between Google
Google
and the Museo del Prado
Museo del Prado
in Madrid
Madrid
, the museum selected 14 of its most important paintings to be photographed and displayed at the ultrahigh resolution of 14,000 megapixels inside the 3D version of the Prado in Google
Google
Earth
Earth
and Google
Google
Maps .

STREET VIEW

Main article: Google
Google
Street View

On April 15, 2008, with version 4.3, Google
Google
fully integrated its Street View product into Google
Google
Earth. Street View displays 360° panoramic street-level photos of select cities and their surroundings. The photos were taken by cameras mounted on automobiles, can be viewed at different scales and from many angles, and are navigable by arrow icons imposed on them. When Street View was added to Google
Google
Maps , on May 25, 2007, five cities were included. It now shows more than 40 U.S. cities and includes the suburbs of many. Updates have added Street View for most major cities around the globe.

WATER AND OCEAN

Introduced in Google
Google
Earth
Earth
5.0 in 2009, the Google
Google
Ocean feature allows users to zoom below the surface of the ocean and view the 3D bathymetry . Supporting over 20 content layers, it contains information from leading scientists and oceanographers . On April 14, 2009, Google
Google
added underwater terrain data for the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
.

In June 2011, higher resolution of some deep ocean floor areas increased in focus from 1-kilometer grids to 100 meters thanks to a new synthesis of seafloor topography released through Google
Google
Earth. The high-resolution features were developed by oceanographers at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth
Earth
Observatory from scientific data collected on research cruises. The sharper focus is available for about 5 percent of the oceans (an area larger than North America). Underwater scenery can be seen of the Hudson Canyon off New York City, the Wini Seamount near Hawaii, and the sharp-edged 10,000-foot-high Mendocino Ridge off the U.S Pacific Coast. There is a Google
Google
2011 Seafloor Tour for those interested in viewing ocean deep terrain.

OUTER SPACE

A picture of Mars
Mars
' landscape. Google
Google
Earth
Earth
in Sky Viewing Mode One of the lunar landers viewed in Google
Google
Moon
Moon

Google
Google
Earth
Earth
can be used as a program to view outer space , including the surfaces of various objects in the solar system . Google
Google
has programs and features, including within Google
Google
Earth, allowing exploration of Mars
Mars
, the moon , and the view of the sky from Earth.

GOOGLE SKY

Google
Google
Sky is a feature that was introduced in Google
Google
Earth
Earth
4.2 on August 22, 2007, in a browser-based application on March 13, 2008, and to Android smartphones , with augmented reality features. Google Sky allows users to view stars and other celestial bodies . It was produced by Google
Google
through a partnership with the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope . Dr. Alberto Conti and his co-developer Dr. Carol Christian of STScI plan to add the public images from 2007, as well as color images of all of the archived data from Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. Newly released Hubble pictures will be added to the Google
Google
Sky program as soon as they are issued.

New features such as multi-wavelength data, positions of major satellites and their orbits as well as educational resources will be provided to the Google
Google
Earth
Earth
community and also through Christian and Conti's website for Sky. Also visible on Sky mode are constellations, stars, galaxies and animations depicting the planets in their orbits. A real-time Google
Google
Sky mashup of recent astronomical transients, using the VOEvent protocol, is being provided by the VOEventNet collaboration. Google's Earth
Earth
maps are being updated each 5 minutes. Other programs similar to Google
Google
Sky include Microsoft WorldWide Telescope , and Stellarium , a free open source planetarium that runs under Microsoft Windows, macOS , and Linux
Linux
.

GOOGLE MARS

Google
Google
Mars
Mars
is an application within Google
Google
Earth
Earth
that is a version of the program for imagery of the planet Mars. Google
Google
also operates a browser-based version, although the maps are of a much higher resolution within Google
Google
Earth, and include 3D terrain, as well as infrared imagery and elevation data. There are also some extremely-high-resolution images from the Mars
Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter 's HiRISE camera that are of a similar resolution to those of the cities on Earth. Finally, there are many high-resolution panoramic images from various Mars
Mars
landers, such as the Mars
Mars
Exploration Rovers , Spirit and Opportunity , that can be viewed in a similar way to Google
Google
Street View .

Mars
Mars
also has a small application found near the face on Mars
Mars
. It is called Meliza, and features a chat between the user and an automatic robot speaker. It is useful for research on Mars, but is not recommended for normal conversations.

GOOGLE MOON

Originally a browser application, Google
Google
Moon
Moon
is a feature that allows exploration of the moon. Google
Google
brought the feature to Google Earth
Earth
for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11
Apollo 11
mission on July 20, 2009. It was announced and demonstrated to a group of invited guests by Google
Google
along with Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin
at the Newseum
Newseum
in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Google
Google
Moon
Moon
includes several tours, including one for the Apollo missions , incorporating maps, videos, and Street View-style panoramas, all provided by NASA.

OTHER FEATURES

Google
Google
Earth
Earth
has numerous features that allow the user to learn about specific places. These are called "layers", and include different forms of media, including photo and video. Some layers include tours, which guide the user between specific places in a set order, and the application provides a tool for any user to create their own.

In December 2006, Google
Google
Earth
Earth
added a new integration with and Panoramio
Panoramio
. For the layer, entries are scraped for coordinates via the Coord templates . There is also a community-layer from the project-World. More coordinates are used, different types are in the display and different languages are supported than the built-in layer. The Panoramio
Panoramio
layer features pictures uploaded by Panoramio
Panoramio
users, placed in Google
Google
Earth
Earth
based off user-provided location data. In addition to flat images, Google
Google
Earth also includes a layer for user-submitted panoramic photos, navigable in a similar way to Street View.

Google
Google
Earth
Earth
includes multiple features that allow the user to monitor current events. In 2007, Google
Google
began offering users the ability to monitor traffic data provided by Google
Google
Traffic in real time, based on information crowdsourced from the GPS-identified locations of cell phone users.

FLIGHT SIMULATOR

Downtown Toronto
Toronto
as seen from a F-16 Fighting Falcon during a simulated flight

In Google
Google
Earth
Earth
4.2, a flight simulator was added to the application. It was originally a hidden feature , but starting with 4.3, it was given a labeled option in the menu. Initially, there were few aircraft available, and airport options were limited, but the game had an option to begin from any current location. In addition to keyboard control, the simulator can be controlled with a mouse or joystick. The flight simulator can be commanded with the keyboard, mouse or plugged-in joystick. Broadband connection and a high speed computer provides a very realistic experience. The simulator also runs with animation, allowing objects such as planes to animate while on the simulator.

LIQUID GALAXY

Main article: Liquid Galaxy

Liquid Galaxy is a cluster of computers running Google
Google
Earth
Earth
creating an immersive experience . On September 30, 2010, Google
Google
made the configuration and schematics for their rigs public, placing code and setup guides on the Liquid Galaxy wiki. Liquid Galaxy has also been used as a panoramic photo viewer using KRpano, as well as a Google Street View viewer using Peruse-a-Rue Peruse-a-Rue is a method for synchronizing multiple Maps API clients.

VERSIONS AND VARIATIONS

Timeline of Google
Google
Earth
Earth
release history.

Google
Google
Earth
Earth
has been released on macOS , Linux
Linux
, iOS and Android . The Linux
Linux
version began with the version 4 beta of Google
Google
Earth, as a native port using the Qt toolkit . The Free Software Foundation consider the development of a free compatible client for Google
Google
Earth to be a High Priority Free Software Project . Google
Google
Earth
Earth
was released for Android on February 22, 2010, and on iOS on October 27, 2008. The mobile versions of Google
Google
Earth
Earth
can make use of multi-touch interfaces to move on the globe, zoom or rotate the view, and allow to select the current location. An automotive version of Google
Google
Earth
Earth
was made available in the 2010 Audi A8 . Google Earth
Earth
running on Android

GOOGLE EARTH PRO

Google
Google
Earth
Earth
Pro was originally the business-oriented upgrade to Google
Google
Earth, with features such as a movie maker and data importer. Up until late January 2015, it was available for $399/year, though Google
Google
decided to make it free to the public. Google
Google
Earth
Earth
Pro is currently the standard version of the Google
Google
Earth
Earth
desktop application as of version 7.3.

The Pro version includes add-on software such as:

* Movie making. * GIS data importer. * Advanced printing modules. * Radius and area measurements.

Google
Google
Earth
Earth
Pro is available for Windows
Windows
(NT-based versions), macOS 10.4 or later, and Linux.

GOOGLE EARTH PLUS

Discontinued in December 2008, Google
Google
Earth
Earth
Plus was a paid subscription upgrade to Google
Google
Earth
Earth
that provided customers with the following features, most of which have become available in the free Google
Google
Earth.

* GPS
GPS
integration: read tracks and waypoints from a GPS
GPS
device. A variety of third-party applications have been created which provide this functionality using the basic version of Google
Google
Earth
Earth
by generating KML or KMZ files based on user-specified or user-recorded waypoints. However, Google
Google
Earth
Earth
Plus provides direct support for the Magellan and Garmin
Garmin
product lines, which together hold a large share of the GPS
GPS
market. The Linux
Linux
version of the Google
Google
Earth
Earth
Plus application does not include any GPS
GPS
functionality. * Higher-resolution printing. * Customer support via email. * Data importer: read address points from CSV files; limited to 100 points/addresses. A feature allowing path and polygon annotations, which can be exported to KML , was formerly only available to Plus users, but was made free in version 4.0.2416. * Higher data download speeds

GOOGLE EARTH ENTERPRISE

Google
Google
Earth
Earth
Enterprise is designed for use by organizations whose businesses could take advantage of the program's capabilities, for example by having a globe that holds company data available for anyone in that company. As of March 20, 2015, Google
Google
has retired the Google Earth
Earth
Enterprise product, with support ending March 22, 2017.

Google
Google
Earth
Earth
Enterprise (GEE) allowed developers to build and host their own private maps and 3D globes. GEE Fusion, GEE Server and GEE Portable Server source code (470,000+ lines) will be published on GitHub under the Apache2 license in March 2017.

GOOGLE EARTH 9

Google
Google
Earth
Earth
9 is a version of Google
Google
Earth
Earth
first released on 18 April 2017, having been in development for two years. The main feature of this update was the launching of a new web version of Google
Google
Earth. This version added the "Voyager" feature, whereby users can view a portal page containing guided tours led by scientists and documentarians. The version also added an "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, represented by a die, which takes the user to a random location on earth along with showing them a "Knowledge Card" containing a short excerpt from the location's article.

Currently, the web version of Google
Google
Earth
Earth
is only available for Google Chrome
Google Chrome
.

GOOGLE EARTH PLUG-IN

The Google
Google
Earth
Earth
API was a free beta service, allowing users place a version of Google
Google
Earth
Earth
into web pages. The API enabled sophisticated 3D map applications to be built. At its unveiling at Google's 2008 I/O developer conference, the company showcased potential applications such as a game where the player controlled a milktruck atop a Google Earth
Earth
surface.

The Google
Google
Earth
Earth
API has been deprecated as of 15 December 2014 and remained supported until the 15th of December 2015. Google
Google
Chrome ended support for the Netscape Plugin API (which the Google
Google
Earth
Earth
API relies on) by the end of 2016.

GOOGLE EARTH OUTREACH

GOOGLE EARTH OUTREACH is a charity program, through which Google promotes and donates to various non-profit organizations. Beginning in 2007, donations are often accompanied by layers featured in Google Earth, allowing users to view a non-profit's projects and goals by navigating to certain related locations. Google
Google
Earth
Earth
Outreach offers online training on using Google
Google
Earth
Earth
and Google
Google
Maps for public education on issues affecting local regions or the entire globe. In June 2008, training was given to 20 indigenous tribes in the Amazon rainforest, such as the Suruí , to help them preserve their culture and raise awareness for the problem of deforestation.

People who create content for the public benefit sector can create KML files detailing their efforts to the Showcase Gallery, where content is posted in the categories of Global Development, Public Health, Environment and Science, Culture and Education, and Social Services. The program has been launched in 9 countries: US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and Brazil.

Non-profit organizations featured in Google
Google
Earth
Earth
via the Outreach program include ARKive , the Global Heritage Fund , Greenpeace , WaterAid , and the World Wide Fund for Nature
World Wide Fund for Nature
.

CONTROVERSY AND CRITICISM

The software has been criticized by a number of special interest groups , including national officials, as being an invasion of privacy and even posing a threat to national security . The typical argument is that the software provides information about military or other critical installations that could be used by terrorists .

* Former President of India
President of India
APJ Abdul Kalam
APJ Abdul Kalam
expressed concern over the availability of high-resolution pictures of sensitive locations in India. Google
Google
subsequently agreed to censor such sites. * The Indian Space Research Organisation
Indian Space Research Organisation
said Google
Google
Earth
Earth
poses a security threat to India, and seeks dialogue with Google
Google
officials. * The South Korean government expressed concern that the software offers images of the presidential palace and various military installations that could possibly be used by hostile neighbor North Korea . * In 2006, one user spotted a large topographical replica in a remote region of China. The model is a small-scale (1/500) version of the Karakoram
Karakoram
Mountain Range, which is under the control of China but claimed by India. When later confirmed as a replica of this region, spectators began entertaining military implications. * In 2006, Google
Google
Earth
Earth
began offering detailed images of classified areas in Israel. The images showed Israel Defense Forces bases, including secret Israeli Air Force
Israeli Air Force
facilities, Israel's Arrow missile defense system, military headquarters and Defense Ministry compound in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
, a top-secret power station near Ashkelon
Ashkelon
, and the Negev Nuclear Research Center . Also shown was the alleged headquarters of the Mossad
Mossad
, Israel's foreign intelligence service, whose location is highly classified. * Operators of the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney
Sydney
, New South Wales , Australia asked Google
Google
to censor high-resolution pictures of the facility. However, they later withdrew the request. * In July 2007, it was reported that a new Chinese Navy Jin-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine was photographed at the Xiaopingdao Submarine
Submarine
Base south of Dalian
Dalian
. * Hamas
Hamas
and the al-Aqsa Martyrs\' Brigades have reportedly used Google
Google
Earth
Earth
to plan Qassam rocket
Qassam rocket
attacks on Israel from Gaza (See: List of Qassam rocket
Qassam rocket
attacks .) * The lone surviving gunman involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks admitted to using Google
Google
Earth
Earth
to familiarise himself with the locations of buildings used in the attacks. * Michael Finton , aka Talib Islam, used Google
Google
Earth
Earth
in planning his attempted September 24, 2009, bombing of the Paul Findley Federal Building and the adjacent offices of Congressman Aaron Schock
Aaron Schock
in Springfield, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois
. * In 2009, Google
Google
superimposed old woodblock prints of maps from 18th and 19th century Japan over Japan today. These maps marked areas inhabited by the BURAKUMIN caste, who were considered "non-humans" for their "dirty" occupations, including leather tanning and butchery . Descendants of members of the burakumin caste still face discrimination today and many Japanese people feared that some would use these areas, labeled etamura (穢多村, translation: "village of an abundance of defilement""), to target current inhabitants of them. These maps are still visible on Google
Google
Earth, but with the label removed where necessary.

Google
Google
Earth
Earth
has been blocked by Google
Google
in Iran and Sudan since 2007, due to US government export restrictions. The program has also been blocked in Morocco since 2006 by Maroc Telecom, a major service provider in the country. Blurred out image of the Royal Stables in The Hague
The Hague
, Netherlands. This has since been partially lifted.

Some citizens may express concerns over aerial information depicting their properties and residences being disseminated freely. As relatively few jurisdictions actually guarantee the individual's right to privacy , as opposed to the state's right to secrecy, this is an evolving point. Perhaps aware of these critiques, for a time, Google had Area 51
Area 51
(which is highly visible and easy to find) in Nevada as a default placemark when Google
Google
Earth
Earth
is first installed.

As a result of pressure from the United States government
United States government
, the residence of the Vice President at Number One Observatory Circle was obscured through pixelization in Google
Google
Earth
Earth
and Google
Google
Maps in 2006, but this restriction has since been lifted. The usefulness of this downgrade is questionable, as high-resolution photos and aerial surveys of the property are readily available on the Internet elsewhere. Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill
also used to be pixelized in this way. The Royal Stables in The Hague
The Hague
, Netherlands
Netherlands
also used to be pixelized, and are still pixelized at high zoom levels.

Critics have expressed concern over the willingness of Google
Google
to cripple their dataset to cater to special interests, believing that intentionally obscuring any land goes against its stated goal of letting the user "point and zoom to any place on the planet that you want to explore".

Late 2000s versions of Google
Google
Earth
Earth
require a software component running in the background that will automatically download and install updates. Several users expressed concerns that there is not an easy way to disable this updater, as it runs without the permission of the user.

In the academic realm increasing attention has been devoted to both Google
Google
Earth
Earth
and its place in the development of digital globes more generally. In particular, the International Journal of Digital Earth
Earth
now features many articles evaluating and comparing the development Google
Google
Earth
Earth
and its differences when compared to other professional, scientific and governmental platforms.

Elsewhere, in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Google
Google
Earth's role in the expansion of "earth observing media" has been examined. Leon Gurevitch in particular has examined the role of Google
Google
Earth
Earth
in shaping a shared cultural consciousness regarding climate change and humanity's capacity to treat the earth as an engineerable object. Gurevitch has described this interface between earth representation in Google
Google
Earth
Earth
and a shared cultural imaginary of geo-engineering as " Google
Google
Warming". Further information: Satellite
Satellite
map images with missing or unclear data

COPYRIGHT

Every image created from Google
Google
Earth
Earth
using satellite data provided by Google
Google
Earth
Earth
is a copyrighted map. Any derivative from Google
Google
Earth is made from copyrighted data which, under United States Copyright
Copyright
Law , may not be used except under the licenses Google
Google
provides. Google allows non-commercial personal use of the images (e.g. on a personal website or blog) as long as copyrights and attributions are preserved. By contrast, images created with NASA's globe software World Wind use The Blue Marble , Landsat
Landsat
or USGS layer, each of which is a terrain layer in the public domain . Works created by an agency of the United States government are public domain at the moment of creation. This means that those images can be freely modified, redistributed and used for commercial purposes.

SEE ALSO

* Geoweb * Keyhole Markup Language * Orthophotomap * Planet Google
Google
, a book by Randall Stross about Google
Google
and its products, including Earth. * Virtual globe * Web mapping

Similar programs

* Bhuvan * Bing Maps Platform * Marble * NASA
NASA
World Wind * Oracle Spatial and Graph

REFERENCES

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Google
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Google
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Google
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Google
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Earth
Release Notes". Google. Retrieved 1 Nov 2013. * ^ "Media Coverage of Geospatial Platforms". Retrieved 2007-08-05.

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Google
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Google
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Earth
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Earth
Earth
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