The Google Earth plugin made its debut in 2008. Since then, the plugin has become one of Google’s most successful products. It allows users to navigate and research geographic information in rich 3D detail. If you’re looking for an application to help you with turn-by-turn navigation, you may want to consider Google Maps; however, if your objective is to gain in-depth information then the Google Earth plugin is your best bet.
The plugin can be used to offer all the features of Google Earth on any webpage that is offered free to consumers.
Google Earth Plugin Features
The Google Earth Flight Simulator lets you fly around the world using just your keyboard, mouse, and if you have it, a joystick. Historical Imagery is a feature that lets you use older images should they suit your purpose better. You can also pick up shots and images of scenes and events that occurred on specific dates. Google Earth Ruler lets you measure distances in units of your choice. These features have obvious uses and advantages in occupations such as teaching, exploration, or just plain old information sharing online.
The SpaceNavigator is a 3D mouse that enables you to pan, tilt, and zoom effortlessly. It adds immensely to the user experience. The Leap Motion is another controller; it is a highly sensitive motion-sensing device that replaces the mouse and makes exploration on Google Earth an enjoyable experience.
Google Earth Plugin Installation
To install the plugin, browse to any page in which the plug-in is included, for example, here. If your browser asks for permission, click to allow the procedure, which will then proceed automatically. After installation, you may be required to refresh the page so that the plugin is displayed correctly.
The following platforms support this plugin –
• Microsoft Windows (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8)
• Google Chrome 5.0-39.0 (32-bit)
• Internet Explorer 7-9, and 10-11 with Compatibility View (32-bit)
• Firefox 11.0-34.0
• Apple Mac OS X 10.6 or later (any Intel Mac)
• Google Chrome 5.0-39.0
• Safari 3.1+
• Firefox 11.0-34.0
(The plug-in won’t install while Firefox is running.)
- Windows: Select Start > Programs (or All Programs) > Google Earth > Uninstall Google Earth Plug-in.
- Mac: Delete
/Library/Internet Plug-ins/Google Earth Web Plug-in.pluginbefore restarting your browser.
The Google Earth API allows you to load the plugin to your webpage. This can be done in four steps.
- Load the Google Earth API.
- Create a DIV element to hold the plug-in.
- Create functions to initialize the plug-in.
- Call the initialization functions once the page has loaded.
It is worth mentioning that the Google Earth API, which is at the heart of the plugin, has been deprecated as of December 12th, 2014. It will be shut down by end of 2016. Till then, it will continue to work on supported browsers.