June 10, 2008

Google Earth Now In Google Maps

I know I talk a lot about Google Earth and Google Maps in this blog (maybe a little too much), but I find both applications very convenient and powerful for viewing cache sites before I head out on a cache hunt, as well as afterwards for viewing my GPSr tracks and cache finds. If you like Google Earth's ability to view terrain in 3D, but the convenience and accessibility of the web-based Google Maps, and wished there was a web version of Google Earth; your wait is over!

Google recently announced the release of a Google Earth Browser Plug-in, which now brings the full power of Google Earth to the web. You can download the plug-in from the Google Earth API site. Soon, you will start to see more Map "Mash-ups" that incorporate the 3D terrain effect of Google Earth. In fact, here's a fun one called Monster Milktruck that someone already put together (note: you need to install the Google Earth plug-in for it to work).

I am by no means even remotely a programmer, but I was able to throw together a simple little Google Maps mash-up with a Google Earth interface showing a few local cache sites in my web browser:

If I can do that, I can't wait to see what real programmer-types start to come up with. Here's a few early creations to wet your whistle:

Every Trail
Geo Whiz
Map Projections
First Person Camera
Bouncing Earth

Enjoy, and Cache On!


Mitch said...

Hi GeoJoe--

If you haven't done so already, you may want to inform your readers that the Google Earth API is Windows only. You readers who use a Mac (me!!) are out in the cold for now.

take care


GeoJoe said...

Hello Mitch,

Thank you for making that very important distinction. It is also worth noting that most of the geocaching software discussed in this blog (like GSAK) only runs on a PC. Hopefully, as the demand for MAC-friendly geocaching applications begins to grow, we'll begin seeing more tools that work on both platforms.