The latest version of Google Earth has been released (Version 4.3) and features some nice new features including the option to watch the sunrise in selected locations. Just find a location you’d like to see and click the “sun” button in the toolbar. You’re then presented with a timeline graphic that you can just play or slide to watch the day as it starts.
The new release also features a few other tweaks such as improved navigational controls and 3D photo-realistic buildings in major cities. In this release, Google have also integrated the Street View function available in Google Maps which makes sense. All you have to do is click the camera icons and a view at street level will open in a seperate window. The navigational controls seem more responsive and they’ve added a useful “default to North” feature which allows you to reorientate yourself if you’ve been spinning around for a while.
On a slightly different note, Google Earth is a prime example of something I wrote about yesterday – products that are in perpetual beta phase. It’s now surely a few years since Google Earth was released and although they keep improving it, I see no reason why it’s still in beta!