The Google Earth 6.2 update has quietly rolled out – graphically, it is probably the most significant improvement we have seen to date.
Anyone who has used Google Earth in the past will be aware of its patchwork quality. It existed because, to create the Earth, Google literally stitched together images – like one would stitch together a patchwork quilt. It was a little rough, but it worked. The latest update does away with the patchwork look and creates a smooth Earth.
The graphical update actually applies to all versions of Google Earth, not just 6.2. However, Google says that it looks best with the latest version of the software. The update adds a few other features, such as Google+ integration (users can now share screenshots of images via the social network) and improvements to search functionality.
The search improvements are also quite noteworthy – as the latest entry in the Google Blog explains:
Aside from streamlining the visual design of the search panel, we’ve enabled the same Autocomplete feature that’s available on Google Maps. We’ve also introduced search layers, which will show all the relevant search results (not just the top ten), so now, when looking for gelato in Milano, you can see all the tasty possibilities. Finally, we’ve added biking, transit and walking directions, so if you’re itching for a change of scenery or looking for a new route for your regular commute, you can now use Google Earth to generate and visualize all your options.
All together, this update adds a great deal to what was already a good program.