SOLVED: What Happened To Google Earth Desktop & Is Google Earth Web Merging With Google Maps?

Google-EarthGoogle Earth for the desktop is a NEAR end of life product, but it is still available.  They are replacing the GoogleEarth desktop app with a GoogleEarth Web App.  Google said:

While rebuilding the new Google Earth from scratch we decided to start with features that are essential for exploring and learning about the planet: Voyager, Knowledge Cards and I’m Feeling Lucky. Some of the features you may be missing from classic desktop Earth are some of our favorites too! While we work to prioritize and redesign many of these features for new Earth, you can continue to use them in classic desktop Earth.

The new Google Earth doesn’t yet have all the features that many long-time classic desktop Earth users enjoy. While we build more of these core features into the new Google Earth, we will continue to maintain the classic desktop app.  SOURCE: google.com/earth/resources

GoogleEarth desktop would be completely dead now, except for serious limitations with the new web app, most notably:

  1. The GoogleEarth web app is only available on Chrome and does not yet work on other browsers:

    Our new cross-platform 3D rendering engine currently uses a Chrome-only technology called Native Client to bring Earth to the web. However, we’re closely tracking the evolution of WebAssembly (epecially threading) which will enable us to bring Google Earth to other major browsers like Edge, Firefox and Safari. Stay tuned! SOURCE: google.com/earth/resources

    We found this quite amusing considering Chrome Native Client is proprietary to Google and Google, Firefox and others shredded Microsoft year after year for using Active X and other Internet Explorer only proprietary technolgies.

  2. The web app, can not import large KML or KMZ files:

    Most moderately-sized KML files and simple features should work in the new Google Earth now. While we work to support more advanced features you can keep using classic desktop Earth. Learn more. SOURCE: google.com/earth/resources

  3. The web app does not offer the LAYERS the GoogleEarth Destkop app does

If GoogleEarth Destkop is going to a web platform, what is going to happen to Google.com/Maps ?

Today GoogleEarth Web App and Google.com/Maps do have notable different features and use cases.  They are wholly different products that came from different acquisitions, but they both use the same data source.

Officially Google has not said anything about these two products merging, but since the reorganization of Google’s various companies under the Alphabet umbrella there seems to be much less interest in pet projects that don’t make money.

Because these products are on different platforms and because Google Earth Web App is truly NOT either Google Earth or Google Maps based (just inspired by GoogleEarth), we expect Google Maps will die and be replaced with the all new Google Earth Web App within 18 months or so.

Note, that we have short tutorial on how to install Google Earth Pro (free!) silently HERE.

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Comments

  1. George April 16, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    Flat earthers storming the comment section in 3, 2, 1.

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