After the Google Earth team improved the imagery of the planet’s oceanic topography (at the expense of one fabled city) they decided to threw all of us surface-dwellers a treat and upgrade the imagery of Earth’s above-sea level areas. Before we get going, though, I want to point out something at the risk of being a map scrooge: the latest update is available only to Google Earth Pro, which is one of the rare Google services that is not free.
Moving along now, the latest release, Google Earth Pro Version 6.2, boasts much better imagery rendering than previous versions due a new technique that clears up the blemishes on some satellite images. As you’ll see in the before-and-after images provided by Google, the improved clarity isn’t exactly subtle.
Another improvement Google announced was to the U.S. Parcel Data layers, but instead of trying to intelligently relate that information to readers I’m going to bow out and let you read it straight from the post at Google’s Enterprise Blog:
Since June 2010, Google Earth Pro users have had access to the U.S. Parcel Data layer. Now users will be able to search that data layer for specific parcels. In Google Earth Pro version 6.2, users simply have to type the parcel number into the familiar search box to be taken to the location of the parcel in the visualization window and access property information such as the property address, standard use code, and last assessed value. The ability to query by parcel number, instead of having to manually navigate to the parcel location, will save the time of real estate and insurance professionals who frequently use the U.S. Parcel Data layer to remotely survey specific properties.
Adding these two improvements to the inventory of other extant search tools offered by Google Earth Pro, employees are going to need to be really creative with explaining why they need to actually travel to a property in order to survey it when that task can be completed from a desk now. Oh, Google – spoiling business expenses one company credit card at a time.