Before Street View and PhotoSpheres and Local Guides programs with millions of user-submitted photos, there was Panoramio. The site launched in 2005 as a way for users to share geotagged photos around the world and was later acquired by Google in 2007. Its Google Earth and Maps layers boast nearly 100 million user-contributed images, with many locations around the globe offering more pictures than what's available from Maps user submissions.
However, back in 2014, Google had decided to shut down Panoramio and fold it into Maps. That decision was met with some push back from the community, and thus resulted in the delay of the final doom and Google working to implement more social features and contributions in Google Maps to make the Panoramio shutdown more tolerable. Read More
The Landsat 8 satellite was launched by NASA in 2013 to snap photos of Earth in higher detail than was possible before. This is an open project, so you can dig through all the data if you want. Today, we get to enjoy the benefits of Landsat 8 in a more convenient way. Google has rolled out improved worldwide satellite imagery in Google Earth and Maps using the data acquired by this satellite. Read More
Google Earth debuted way back in 2005, long before Android existed in any meaningful way. It was a borderline magical experience at the time—you could just open a program and see the entire planet from orbit. Google Earth might be old news now, but Google is celebrating the anniversary with a new discovery feature. It's only on the desktop right now, but "Voyager" shows you the best things available in Google Earth.
Google is rolling out a big update to the Google Earth app, and as usual it's a staged deployment. Never fear, we are here with an APK download. In this new version (8.0) you'll find better 3D images, cleaner maps, KML import, and more.
Google hasn't updated the changelog on the Play Store yet, but there's a whole blog post about Google Earth v8.0. The gist of it is that 3D images will look much better now with the new rendering engine. Roads will also get nicer labels and updated data at the same time as Google Maps going forward. Read More
Google Maps is practical, but Google Earth is kind of the show off side of Google's mapping project. You can explore satellite imagery from all over the world and check out detailed 3D photos of many areas. Now there's even more to see in Google Earth with the addition of your geocoded Google+ photos.
Maps 7.1 is slowly rolling out into the world. Google is making this teardown particularly difficult, because they haven't even gotten around to releasing a change log yet - it's up to me to come up with something. First though, we need to cover the good stuff that most definitely won't be in the change log, because this has me excited:
Remember when I found a "3D" button allll the way back in version 6.12? Google is at it again, this time with some extremely descriptive text in the newest Maps update:
<string name="STRIPIFIED_MESH_LAB_NAME">Detailed 3D Meshes</string>
<string name="STRIPIFIED_MESH_LAB_DESCRIPTION">Enable/disable visualization of detailed user-generated meshes for important buildings and monuments.
Google Maps has been performing solid, mostly thankless service for more than eight years now, and last week its most significant update yet was leaked. It's that time of year, so we naturally assumed that we'd be hearing more about it at today's Google I/O keynote, but someone in Mountain View must have been a little quick on the trigger. Droid Life spotted a signup page for the revamped web interface and managed to grab a few screenshots before it was hastily shoved back in the digital closet.
Between this and a string of small maintenance updates to Google Maps for Android (not to mention a name change - the Play Store entry is just "Maps" now) we think there's a pretty good chance that the Google Maps app will also get a major overhaul in the very near future. Read More
Google Currents is not the only Android app the company updated today as many first-party apps saw relatively minor updates through the Play Store this afternoon. Basically, the next time you check your app list be prepared to wait on those updates to download.
If you are one of the few still using a Google TV device, the PrimeTime and TV Search apps have been updated. PrimeTime comes with bugfixes and faster access to the channel guide. TV Search should be faster and less prone to crashes. On the phone side of things, Shopper has a shiny new UI and performance enhancements. Read More