Despite its name being associated with anything you have to pay for, Google Earth Pro is entirely free. Yes, you read that right. In 2015, Google made the decision to offer their Pro geographical information program entirely for free. While it’s great to have this kind of tool readily available for us, it begs the question: what systems can this application run on. Or, where can it be downloaded to?
Operating systems that support Google Earth Pro
Google Earth Pro can be downloaded to the following systems:
- Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7
- Mac OS X 10.6.0 or later
The current version for Google Earth Pro is 7.1.
Downloading Google Earth Pro
Google Earth Pro can be downloaded from a page on Google’s official site. Here is the address: http://www.google.com/earth/download/gep/agree.html. While within the download page, you have a couple of options presented to you:
- allowing Google Earth to install recommended updates automatically
- improving Google Earth by collecting anonymous usage statistics
You can tick both boxes if you agree with those options, otherwise just tick the one you want. For instance, you might want the application to update itself whenever there is a new update. Your download also won’t be affected by whichever choice you make in this section.
Click on Agree and Download when you’ve made all your final choices. Follow whatever instructions will follow. Once you get to the end, you’ll have the Pro version of Google Earth used any way you like.
You need to have a license key in order to operate Google Earth Pro on your computer. Luckily, that key is available on the official page of the application on Google. But to save you time in opening up that page, here it is: GEPFREE.
Together with your email address, these are the things you will need in order to start exploring and marveling at the wonder that is Google Earth Pro.
Google Earth Pro features
Google Earth Pro is basically an enhancement of Google Earth. As such, here are some of the application’s more notable features:
- Viewing demographic, parcel and traffic data layers
- Using advanced GIS data importing features (visualize ESRI shapefiles and MapInfo files)
- Measuring area, radius and circumference on the ground
- Printing high-resolution screenshots (print images up to 4800x3200px resolution)
- Making offline movies for sharing (export Windows Media and Quicktime HD movies of up to 1920×1080 resolution)
What makes the Pro version different from the basic one?
If you’re used to the free version of Google Earth (the basic edition) then you won’t have trouble shifting to the Pro version. Essentially, everything is the same except that you are offered more tools to explore using Pro. So basically, the choice is yours alone: do you want a basic version or one with more advanced features. After all, you don’t need to pay to use any of these applications.
Google Earth Pro certainly has its charms but the decision to go for it or the basic version is totally up to you the user.