Google has released a new desktop version of Google Earth (version 7) that includes features previously released in its mobile version. The new desktop features include what Google calls a “tour guide” for more than 11,000 locations in over 110 countries and regions, and more 3D imagery for several cities around the world.
The tour guide feature is cool, consisting of pre-created tours of points of interest near areas you may be viewing. Available tours appear as thumbnail images at the bottom of the screen. Clicking on a thumbnail starts a “flyover” of nearby historical and cultural points of interest. When available, facts about a location from Wikipedia will also appear on the screen as you fly in and around locations like the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge and other popular sites around the globe.
Google has been adding 3D imagery to Earth for a number of cities this year, including Boulder, Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Lawrence, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Seattle, Tampa, Tucson, Rome and the San Francisco Bay Area. With Google Earth 7, they’ve added 3D imagery from Avignon France, Austin Texas, Munich Germany, Phoenix Arizona and Mannheim Germany.