Multiple Platforms

Google Earth is unlikely to operate on older hardware configurations. The most recent system requirements update[54] document these minimum configurations:

The most likely cause of failure is insufficient video RAM: the software is designed to warn the user if their graphics card is not able to support Earth (this often occurs due to insufficient Video RAM or buggy graphics card drivers). The next most likely mode of failure is Internet access speed.

Linux specifications

Minimum system requirements include:[55]

  • Kernel: 2.4 or later
  • CPU: Pentium III, 500 MHz
  • Random-access memory (RAM): 128 MB
  • Hard disk: 400 MB free space
  • Internet connection speed: 128 kbit/s
  • Screen: 1024×768, 16-bit color

Works on the following distributions:

Web browsing

As of Google Earth 5, the contents of description balloons, which are created in KML using JavaScript and iFrames, are rendered with an embedded WebKit engine.[56]

Versions and variations

Release timeline


http://bits.wikimedia.org/static-1.23wmf10/skins/common/images/magnify-clip.png

Illustrates timeline of KML and Google Earth history

  • Keyhole Earthviewer 1.0 – June 11, 2001
  • Keyhole Earthviewer 1.3 – January 1, 2002
  • Keyhole Earthviewer 1.7 – February 2002
  • Keyhole LT 1.7.1 – August 26, 2003
  • Keyhole NV 1.7.2 – October 16, 2003
  • Keyhole 2.2 – August 19, 2004
  • Google Earth 3.0 – June 28, 2005
  • Google Earth 4.0 – June 11, 2006
  • Google Earth 4.1 – May 29, 2007
  • Google Earth 4.2 – August 23, 2007
  • Google Earth 4.3 – April 15, 2008
  • Google Earth 5.0 – May 5, 2009
  • Google Earth 5.1 – November 18, 2009
  • Google Earth 5.2 – July 1, 2010
  • Google Earth 6.0 – March 29, 2011
  • Google Earth 6.1 – October 21, 2011
  • Google Earth 6.2 – April 11, 2012
  • Google Earth 7.0 – June 27, 2012 (Android and iOS platform only)
  • Google Earth 7.0 – Dec 18, 2012 (Desktop)
  • Google Earth 7.1 - June 6, 2013 (Android platform only)
  • Google Earth 7.1 - June 26, 2013 (Desktop and iOS platform only)

Mac version

A version for OS X was released on January 10, 2006, and is available for download from the Google Earth website. With a few exceptions noted below, the Mac version appears to be stable and complete, with virtually all the same functionality as the original Windows version.

Screenshots and an actual binary of the Mac version had been leaked to the Internet on December 8, 2005. The leaked version was significantly incomplete. Among other things, neither the Help menu nor its "Display License" feature worked, indicating that this version was intended for Google's internal use only. Google released no statement regarding the leak.

The Mac version runs only under OS X version 10.3 or later. There is no embedded browser, no direct interface to Gmail and no full screen option. As of January 2009 there are a few bugs concerning the menu bar when switching between applications and a few bugs concerning annotation balloons and printing.

Since version 4.1.7076.4558 (released on May 9, 2007) onward OS X users can, among other new features, upgrade to the "Plus" version via an option in the Google Earth menu.[57] Some users reported difficulties with Google Earth crashing in the then current version when zooming in. The current version for Mac is 5.2.1.1588 .[58]

Linux version

Starting with the version 4 beta Google Earth functions under Linux, as a native port using the Qt toolkit. The Free Software Foundation consider the development of a free compatible client for Google Earth to be a High Priority Free Software Project.[59]

Since revision 7.0 there have been reports of users being unable to use Google Earth on Linux because of a bug.[60] This have possibly been resolved in version 7.0.3.8542. As of July 19, 2013 version 7.1.1.1888 is still non functional for Linux.

Android version

An Android version was released on Monday, February 22, 2010.[61]

iOS version

A version for the iOS, which runs on the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad, was released for free on the App Store on October 27, 2008.[62][63] It makes use of the multi-touch interface to move on the globe, zoom or rotate the view, and allow to select the current location using the iPhone integrated Assisted GPS. Although it previously did not support any layers apart from Wikipedia and Panoramio, version 6.2 brought KML support to add additional layers. Version 7 introduced 3D modeling of several cities.[64]

Google Earth Pro

For a $399 annual subscription fee, Google Earth Pro is a business-oriented upgrade to Google Earth that has more features than the Plus version. The Pro version includes add-on software such as:

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

The professional version is available for Windows (NT-based versions), Mac OS X 10.4 or later.[66]

Google Earth Enterprise

Google Earth Enterprise is a version of Google Earth designed for use by organizations whose businesses could take advantage of the program's capabilities.[67]

Automotive version

An automotive version of Google Earth is available in the 2010 Audi A8.[68]

Google Earth Plug-in

The Google Earth API is a free beta service, available for any web site that is free to consumers. The Plug-in and its JavaScript API allows users to place a version of Google Earth into web pages. The API enables sophisticated 3D map applications to be built.[69]

The Google Earth Plug-in is available for the following web browsers and operating systems:

Microsoft Windows (2000, XP, Vista, and 7)

  • Google Chrome 1.0+
  • Internet Explorer 6.0+
  • Firefox 2.0+
  • Flock 1.0+

Apple Mac OS X 10.4 and higher (Intel and PowerPC)

  • Safari 3.1+
  • Firefox 3.0+

To date the plug-in supports the following layers:

  • Terrain
  • Roads
  • Buildings
  • Borders
  • 3-D Buildings

The Google Updater Plugin from Google[70] will keep the Google Earth Plugin (and all other Google plugins) up to date on your browser.

It also supports 'Sky Mode', 'Photo Overlays', and provides much of the same controls and information bar as the full application.

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