With the continuous updates to Google Maps, we saw most of the main features, found otherwise in the Google Earth, being transferred to Maps. As more time passed, Google Earth started to lose its functionality and hence, the number of users receded at a rapid pace.
But let’s agree on the fact that Google just doesn’t give up so early on its products. No matter how they perform in the competitive market. You can look at the Google+ for an example. Despite being down and dusted for so long, we hear about an apparently exciting update to Google’s social networking site every now and then.
So the recent news from the Google is that Google Earth will get an unexpected update to its core. The users will be able to make posts, upload pictures and videos related to a specific place. This means that Google Earth is officially transforming to a social network where people can interact through different mediums.
In this blog, we will look into the new social features of the Google Earth. As well as other additional features that are being incorporated into the service to give a better experience to the users. We will see how the social aspect of the Google Earth will work and how users will be able to use the service.
Why Google Earth is Transforming into a Social Network?
Social networking has not only transformed the way people interact but also influenced the businesses to mold their business strategies into some form of a social networking in one way or the other. This includes some of the biggest organizations in the world such as Google, to rethink the way they work.
Why Social Networking Everywhere?
There is a simple secret behind this love affair with the social networking. It is that now companies know, especially after the Facebook phenomena, that the content produced by the users themselves is the biggest asset for the companies.
How does it work?
We take an example of Google+. Although it was introduced many years ago, and despite not being a very successful the way they expected, they never backed up from realizing the fact that the social networking was the future. Not only that, they added many social networking features to other Google services as well. Google Earth is the latest of the Google products to get a social touch.
What is the New Social Update to Google Earth?
Google Earth could easily be your next social networking platform! With the help of a new tool called Voyager, Google now enables the users to contribute to the Google Earth’s map details with the help of text posts, images, and video messages.
The Voyager tool will embed your posts, pictures, and videos to the locations where they were created.
How will Google Earth be Different from Other Social Networks?
The new social networking feature in the Google Earth will be available to the public any time now. The Voyager tool that adds the social flavor to the mapping service, will more than 10 tools for the users to add different types of content to the Google Earth database.
For the users, there is an important catch that everyone should take into account. The posts embedded to the Google Earth through Voyager app are not private at all; unless you do the right settings to make the posts privately available to a specific audience. In fact, they are publically available to everyone that takes a virtual tour of that place.
Latest Features Added to Google Earth
Now that we have most of the information about the social aspect of Google Earth, let’s talk a bit about other additional features that are being added to the Google Earth. Like every social network, Google Earth will also get an ever increasing new stream of users and to accommodate them, Google has already added a new set of features. These features will not only enhance the performance of the Google Earth service but also will give a better user experience to all the service users. Let’s talk about these features one by one.
Updates to Mobile Application
While most of the features of Google Earth are already copied to Google Maps, the former is still going to be the ultimate choice for the users who want to explore this planet in a bit more detail. Now that the service has got a social touch, the users will do more than just search a place and leave. They will be able to not only see the stories about a specific place or a location but also will be able to add to existing information if they have something new. This means that now the Google Earth has become more interactive and hence more fun to use. To accommodate the social features, Google is making all the necessary updates to the Google Earth Mobile App.
Virtual Tour of Earth and Beyond
With the help of the update Google Earth App, the users will be able to take a virtual tour to different parts of the world, and even many places outside the world. This is a pretty close feature to that of another navigation app by Google; the Google Expeditions. However, the Google Earth is not going to have all the features of the Google Expeditions such as the Augmented Reality features that require specialized hardware to use the application. So, the Google Earth is something in between Google Maps and Google Expeditions.
Google Earth 3D View is a special feature that enables the viewers to take a 360-degree tour of a specific location. However, this feature is only available for a limited number of locations. This feature can be activated for a place if the Google has acquired pictures of that place from various angles. Since the Google Earth uses the Satellite imagery, it is not possible to give a 3-D view of every corner of the earth except some famous location for which Google has made special arrangements.
As the demand for 3-D view increased, Google addressed this problem by allowing the users to contribute to the images of a specific location. These images are gathered through users whom the Google calls the Google Local Guides. Google asks the users located around a certain place to contribute to the existing images. This way, Google has access to different pictures of a location from different locations and it can arrange them to create a 3-D imagery.
Google Local Guides
This is a very useful addition to Google services. With Google Local Guides services, contributions to the existing information over the Google services are for the users by the users. The Google local guides help the Google in making the information accurate and more detailed.
There is no specific selection criterion to become a Google local guide. Any Google services user can become a member and start contributing to different Google services. While visiting a location, Google will ask to review a specific location in a few simple steps. The review usually consists of a single Yes – No question. Moreover, you can take a picture and embed it with the map of that place. This way, a user helps the Google in creating a better Map of his surroundings. The local guides service provides an opportunity for the locals to promote their place with better information and attractive imagery.
More Interactive Interface
The new social feature which Google names as ‘Voyages’ has pretty much transformed into a social network. With this, it is evident that there would be a huge influx of users. To accommodate them, and also to give them a better experience, Google is making the interface more interactive. Google Earth is no more a boring place to sit and watch; it’s a fully interactive place where you can actively contribute towards making Google Earth more informative, accurate, and attractive. Just like any other social networking site, your photos are going be viewed, commented, and shared by the other users on the platform.
Inviting Friends for a 3D Tour
Other interactive features include inviting others to have a 3D view of your places. For example, if you live in an Australian suburb and want to show to one of your friends in America how it looks like in your place, you can just click a button and send a link to him. With the help of that link, you friend will be able to view your place in 3D.
Buttons for Navigation
The newly improved interface now comes with multiple on screen buttons to help navigate through a location easily. These buttons are designed to give a close-to-real feel for the users. If you want to change your place of navigation, you can do that by hitting a single button.
The new social networking feature being introduced with the Google Earth through the Voyager tool is surely exciting news in the tech world. It will transform the way we have been using Google Earth. Also, it will help Google make the content more interesting, accurate, and detailed; that too with the help of users themselves.