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Google Earth Sandwiched Into Google Maps

Integration replaces terrain view with "true three-dimensional perspective"

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Ready or not, another integration of Google’s products has occurred.  Now, when Google Maps users go looking for a terrain view, they won’t find it (easily — see correction); instead, a new option that essentially functions as a link to Google Earth is at the ready.

People who don’t already have Google Earth installed will in fact be unable to proceed until they download a browser plugin, and it’s almost certain that this change will disappoint some folks.  A 3D pan-and-zoom experience is likely to be seen as overkill (and a resource hog) if all that’s needed is a rough idea of how some land rises and falls.

Google Earth is definitely a more entertaining product than a simple terrain view, however, and people who weren’t aware of Google Earth or just weren’t in the habit of using it may appreciate the update.

Also, it’s fair to say that the average computer of 2010 should be more capable of handling Google Earth than the average computer of 2005 (the year Google Earth launched).

All in all, Google has at least brought its product line closer together and succeeded in upping the eye candy factor of Google Maps.  Traditionalists can still enjoy the same old "Map," "Satellite," and "Traffic" overhead views, as well.

CORRECTION: The terrain view has been tucked under the "More" button, and so while people (such as this writer) may overlook it, Google hasn’t removed the feature.

Google Earth Sandwiched Into Google Maps
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  • Guest

    You can still find the “Terrain” button under “More…”

    • Doug Caverly

      Thanks for the pointer. My mistake for not clicking around a little more.

  • Guest

    Guest prior, I love you! I need the terrain option — and suddenly it was gone! Google joined Facebook in Things That Are Useful Until The Idiots Who Run Them Fix Them (Not). Dumb, dumb Google!

  • Jim

    “Terrain” is now only available under “More” when you’re in standard “Map” view, which I find inconvenient. Before, you could mentally interpolate the shape of landforms using a back-and-forth combination of “Satellite” and “Terrain” views. “Terrain” was/is more useful to me than “Earth” because it shows ELEVATION lines, which can be a lot more useful than a fancy 3-D view that only really shows contours when panned.

  • Jim

    I need to correct my previous comment. It only seemed like you couldn’t access “Terrain” view when “Satellite” view was active. Must have been a temporary glitch when I switched out of “Earth” view.

  • Homer

    du’h

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