Google Earth opens new local house search experience
Home searching on the web received a jolt June 28.BY INMAN NEWSHome searching on the web received a jolt June 28 with the launch of Google’s new satellite imagery-based mapping product Google Earth.Google Earth combines 3D buildings and terrain with mapping capability and Google search. Based on Keyhole technology, Google Earth enables users to fly from space to street level views to find geographic information and explore places around the world.Key features of Google Earth include free software download available at http://earth.google.com; three-dimensional buildings in major cities across the United States; three-dimensional terrain showing mountains, valleys and canyons around the world; integrated Google Local search to find local information such as hotels, restaurants, schools, parks and transportation.Google Earth also features video playback of driving directions; the ability to tilt, rotate and activate 3D terrain and buildings for a different perspective on a location; and the ability to create and share annotations among users.”Google Earth utilizes broadband streaming technology and 3D graphics, much like a videogame, enabling users to interactively explore the world – either their own neighborhood or the far corners of the globe,” said John Hanke, general manager, Keyhole, Google.Google Earth is the latest innovation within Google’s local search product suite, which currently includes Google Local and Google Maps for web users and mobile phone users. With Google Earth, users have the tools to dive deeper into local information, whether they’re exploring a vacation destination or researching a new home or apartment. They can combine multiple layers of information, such as cross-referencing school districts with address look-ups of available homes, business listings and public transportation, and save their results for later use.For $20 a year, Google Earth Plus offers additional features including GPS compatibility, data import, and annotation. For $400 a year, Google Earth Pro is available for commercial use and offers high-resolution printing and GIS data import capabilities.Google Local helps users locate businesses in a specific geographic location, and offers comprehensive local information including business listings, reviews and related web pages.Google Maps is a browser-based online mapping service that enables users to find location information, navigate through maps and get directions quickly and easily. The service features results from Google Local to offer users access to traditional business listings combined with relevant information from Google’s 8 billion page web index.
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