The functionality of Google Earth is showing up in more and more places outside of the actual Google Earth software. Much of what you could do in GE is now available in Google Maps. Maps has had the ability to read KML/KMZ files for awhile now, and for the most part the imagery is the same for both systems. Well the folks at Google have blurred the line even more with the recent release of the Google Earth COM API.
The new API allows developers to create interfaces to the Google Earth data. Probably one of the best examples of this has been done by the folks at TakItWithMe.com. They have created a version of Google Earth than can be embedded into blog posts, web pages, etc.
In order to take advantage of this three things have got to be in place:
- Google Earth 4.x or higher must be installed on your computer.
- You have to install the Google Earth 3D plugin for the browser you plan to use.
- The KML/KMZ file you plan to use must be available online, either on hosted webspace or on the user’s My Maps folder in Google Maps.
If you have at least the first two of these already in place on your computer, you can click the link below to read more, and you’ll see a demonstration…
This is the KMZ file that I created for Laura’s class on Chernobyl a couple of days ago. I’ve opened it up on the TakItWithMe service and created an interactive version of it.
This looks like it has some promise. However, if you already have to have Google Earth installed, just providing a link to the data file should be enough. I guess the advantage of this is that the interactive map is immediate without having to load another application. Regardless, it’s still pretty cool. I’m sure I’ll figure out some way to use it!
[tags]Google Earth, API, maps, Google Maps, Google Earth API[/tags]