Google have announced the release of a new 4.1 beta version of Google Earth featuring new views, languages and extended Mac support. The mapping program is now compatible with the SpaceNavigator 3D mouse on Macs giving superior control over viewing angles. Another major upgrade is the new ‘View in Maps’ feature which extends online and desktop integration. A small map now appears in the top right corner of your screen which when clicked, takes you to exactly the same location you are viewing in Google Earth in Google Maps. There’s also a new ‘starting location’ feature which sets itself by default according to where you are based in the world. Finally, Google Earth is available in 7 new languages – Czech, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Korean and Arabic.
Google Earth still remains a far more popular download that Microsoft’s equivalent Virtual Earth, and these upgrades will consolidate its position in the mapping market. However, many users would no doubt prefer to see huge swathes of the maps themselves upgraded, especially in more remote areas where detail is still relatively limited.