New Google Earth to be launched on April 18

Yolanda Curtis
April 19, 2017

Google Earth just got overhauled in time for Earth Day, and its new features will make you want to spend hours navigating a virtual version of our planet.

First up is Voyager, a new curation experience where Google has teamed up with global storytellers, scientists and nonprofit organisations to deliver interactive guided tours from across the globe. Google says more than 50 are available already - under the service's new "Voyager" section - including a tour of the Tanzanian Gombe National Park led by primate expert Jane Goodall and her team. The redesigned Google Earth also have the "I m feeling lucky" button. Users can also share the 3D locations as a postcard for their friends and family, according to VentureBeat.

Scientists and documentarians have worked with Google to curate digital tours with the Voyager interface, which links users to high quality videos of the land and provides unique interviews to help give personal insight into what the location has to offer.

Another highlight of the new version of Google Earth is its improved 3D capabilities.

For those unfamiliar, Timeline is a Google Maps feature that basically tracks your movements ad shows you where you've been. We got a chance to travel to various countries in VR with the Rift at a Google event in New York City. The first big feature, of course, is the fact that you can browse it directly in the Chrome browser. While not available in remote corners of the world, where 3D view is available, it's impressive, particularly in cities with tall landmarks like Toronto and Hong Kong.

The rollout of Your Timeline to Google Maps on iOS appears to be a gradual, server-side update as I have it on one of my devices, but not others.

The real star of the new Google Earth is Voyager, which the company calls "a showcase of interactive guided tours".

Google Maps users on iOS are getting a feature that's new to them, but not to users on Android or desktop computers. Users can type in the name or location to visit multiple location around the globe on Google Earth.

Making it available via the web also makes Google Earth more social than ever before.

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