Space To The Street With Google Earth 6 — Plus 3D Trees

Google Earth 6 is being introduced today. It includes a number of significant upgrades and improvements. Specifically, Street View has been more deeply integrated into Earth. Users now can fly “seamlessly” from space to the street wherever Google has Street View imagery.

Interestingly, Google is also introducing 3D trees to make Google Earth’s 3D environments more realistic. And finally, Google has added more historical imagery, which allows users to see earlier photography of the same location on a timeline (from 1945 to the present).

Each of these changes makes sense and enriches the Google Earth experience. Most intriguing to me, however, was the addition of 3D trees.

Google said that more than 50 species of trees are represented in a number of 3D-modeled parks and public places around the world: New York, San Francisco, Berlin, Athens and Toyko, with more cities to come. These are not just “generic” tree images, but attempt to reflect the actual tree species in their respective locations. All the trees have been generated automatically without hand rendering.

In Berlin’s Tiergarten Park, for example, the 3D trees include the following species:

  • Small-leaved Linden (Tilia cordata)
  • Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)
  • Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
  • London Plane (Platanus acerifolia)
  • European Beech (Fagus sylvatica)
  • Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
  • True Service Tree (Sorbus domestica)

Here are a couple of screenshots of the new 3D trees in context (San Francisco, Athens):

Below are videos that go into more detail about each of the improvements.

Integrated Street View:

YouTube Preview Image

3D Trees:

YouTube Preview Image

Historical imagery:

YouTube Preview Image

My view has always been that Google Earth is “cool” and a great research tool but not very practical for everyday use. However I was surprised to learn that the iPhone version of Earth is used more than Google Earth for the Mac. I predict that the tablet version of the app may turn out to be even more widely adopted.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Earth | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Street View | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • Web Žurnál

    Screenshots looks amazing!

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide