California, USA, 12 June 2006: Google has updated its mapping products – Google Earth and Google Maps API – increasing the resolution of its images and adding features for developers.
Google announced on June 12 it has introduced a new version of Google Earth, a tool that provides a range of geographical information, from driving instructions, to maps, to space satellite views of buildings and terrain. In the new version, image resolution has increased four times, making sub-meter high-resolution imagery available for more than one third of the world’s population. Currently this feature is available only in Google Earth, though this database will soon be also accessible in Google Maps.
Google Earth has also been made available for Windows, Mac and Linux operating platforms, and can be accessed in French, Italian, German and Spanish.
Google has also updated Google Maps API (application programming interface), a developer tool that enables users to easily embed Google’s interactive, dynamic maps into their own websites. In the new version, customers whose websites have merged geographic information with Google Maps can integrate data based on addresses. The new Google Maps API also displays KML, or keyhole markup language, which is the file format used to share geographic information. With KLM information available, developers can post the geographical information they get from Google Maps more easily onto their websites.
In addition to these features, Google has added licensing and support services for Google Maps API customers. This service helps developers and other businesses map customer locations, track shipments, manage facilities or view any other data source in a geographic context.
Being offered in French, Italian, German and Spanish, Google Maps, the update of the software will quadruple the use of land than its predecessor, enabling about one-third of the world’s population to obtain an aerial view of their homes and neighborhood.
Google estimates that since the launch of the Google mapping tools a year ago, there have been more than 100 million Google Earth downloads and 30,000 websites using Google Maps API.