Google Earth keeps getting closer to reality.
Google announced the latest upgrade to Google Earth, version 6, today with some pretty significant new features. Most importantly, Google (GOOG) is integrating the controversial Streetview with imagery provided by satellites. That means as users zoom to a Streetview-enabled location (denoted in a similar fashion as maps), they can seamlessly switch to the streetview and vice versa as they zoom out.
Google has also updated Earth to display 3D trees. The initial release includes over 80 million trees in a variety of cities including San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Athens, Tokyo and Berlin. Google also built some full forests in parts of Africa and Mexico.
Google has a variety of 3D trees for users to “plant” around their Sketchup buildings, which can be uploaded to Google to make your piece of earth 3D.
Finally, Google includes historical views of locations in order to show how things have changed….at least since the beginnings of aerial imagery.
Videos of all three new features below: