Google Unearths New Mapping Service

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Called Google Earth, the 3D mapping service brings a combination of aerial and satellite photos to the desktop.

The latest product from the Mountain View-based search engine company provides 3D images of buildings in 38 major US cities. Further high-resolution images detailing most of the major cities in the US, as well as Canada, Western Europe, and the U.K., can be accessed through the system.

Most computers with 3D graphics cards should be able to run the necessary software for Google Earth. Google Earth uses technology from Keyhole Corp, which Google purchased.

The newest entry in the Google product line goes a step further in helping to better define local search results. Originally, search queries for a local business might find its name, and possibly an address. Improvements in local search drawing from phone directories put a phone number with the business.

When Google debuted its mapping service, that local search result could be shown on a map of the local area. Now, with Google continuously adding photos to its database, that local search result, in certain areas, will show a picture of the building housing the business itself.

Images in Google’s database have been taken over the past three years, and as noted will be updated continuously. The basic Google Earth service and software are free, and Google will offer two annual subscription-based versions of Google Earth with added features.

For enterprises, Google can offer a Google Earth service that incorporates their geographical data. Insurance companies that wish to see a visual representation of an area, overlayed with visual information on flood plains, would be one potential market.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Google Unearths New Mapping Service
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