I hadn’t realized how far behind the times I’ve been with Google Earth until I ready on Frank Taylor’s blog that there is an update out for a version beyond the one I’m using. That means I’m two versions behind.
Version 6.2 makes some changes to the overall appearance of the map, with a “pretty Earth” effect. At wider zoom ranges, the surface of the map appears uniform, unlike older versions that showed rectangular swaths that mirrored imagery acquisition and satellite routes. As you zoom into the surface, more details emerge.
While this is all looks nice, the more functional improvement is the addition of enhanced sharing features in Google Earth. You can log directly into your Google Plus account, which opens lots of options for sharing GE data. In the top right part of the screen you can now find a Share Button and a button to log into your G+ account.
From the drop-down menu you have five options:
- Share a screenshot in Google Plus
- E-mail an image
- E-mail the current view
- E-mail a placemark (one must be active to use this function)
- Share with the Google Earth Community
You can still save screenshots as JPG files. That’s what I had been doing, uploading the images to Flickr when I wanted to share on this blog. Now I’ll just pop them into G+ and link from there.
Google has acquired the online image editor Picnic. That product is being phased out, but the service itself is being incorporated into other Google products. If you open your Google Earth screenshot (or any other image, for that matter) in the Lightbox view, you will see a link to the “Creative Kit”, which is what Picnic has become.
Unfortunately, not all of Picnic has been ported over to the Creative Kit. I couldn’t find any of the shapes, arrows, and lines that made image mark-up a breeze in Picnic, so I had to draw lines manually (and rather squiggly, I might add.)
Still, it’s a nice, quick way to share Google Earth data, and I’m looking forward to doing more with it.