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How long has it been since you started using Google Earth? You have to admit it is an amazing and very helpful tool, especially because you can switch from Satellite and Street View. Whenever you need direction, Google Earth almost always provides an answer.

What are the odds that there are amazing things in Google Earth that you may not know about?

  • The Street View has been integrated with 3D features, providing you with a more realistic picture of various locations around the Earth.
  • Users are allowed to create 3D models of various buildings that they wish to see, using SketchUp, a drawing tool.
  • The Flight Simulator provides views of different locations from a new perspective. It not only provides direction, but also enhanced fun.

What is even more amazing is that its imagery is updated every time a new version comes out. Following the latest update in February this year, the image quality has greatly improved. In fact, clear images of the devastation of the 2011 tsunami in Japan were captured, which clearly showed an upturned boat and the cleanup operations just a few kilometers away.

To access new imagery in Google Earth, users must first download a KML file, which was created using a Google Earth plugin. If you want to switch between new and historical imagery, you can easily switch back and forth. Doing so will also show you if a particular location has been updated or not.

Some say Google Earth updates are not done regularly, which makes it less reliable. This begs the question of how often Google Earth is updated.

Google said that most of the imagery on Google Earth is between 1 and 3 years old. This is because it would be too expensive to hire pilots to take pictures on a regular basis. But they assure that nearly every region has been updated once in the five years that Google Earth has been out. Other locations, however, have been updated more than others because of importance. But overall, Google Earth is updated every time a new release comes out.

With some shortcomings, however, people are making comparisons between Google Maps and Google Earth. Which one is better? Which one would you prefer?

No doubt both maps have their share of pros and cons. Based on years of existence, Google Earth is older, but Google Map has always been developed by Google, which gives it an edge in terms of features and functions. But the real test would be which one provides you the most comprehensive direction.