We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Google Earth Update Smooths Over Patchwork Landscapes

Google upgrades Google Earth 3D mapping program with a new rendering engine that smooths out patchwork quilt images of the Earth's surface.

Google upgraded Google Earth to version 6.2 displays the Earth's surface in smooth, natural textures. Previous versions of Google Earth rendered maps in patchy long-range imagery that were stitched together one square at a time. The Google Earth update is available now for download for both the mobile and desktop versions of the software.

The Google Earth representation of Earth is put together using satellite and aerial photos taken on different dates, under different lighting and weather conditions, which creates the quilt effect on views of the Earth from high altitude. The images appear patchy unless you zoom in to see a patch represented in a single image.

Google's new rendering engine smoothes out the quilt of images. "The end result is a beautiful new Earth-viewing experience that preserves the unique textures of the world's most defining geographic landscapes," explained in a blog post Peter Birch, Google Earth Product Manager. Version 6.2 of the desktop software is recommended for best viewing, he said.

Search and sharing improvements

The Google Earth 6.2 update also borrowed the same autocomplete feature available in Google Maps, which makes it faster and easier to find the spot you are looking for. You can search by layers now, and biking, transit and walking directions are now available as well.

There's something new for Google+ users in the latest update too. There's a quick option to share a screenshot of the current view on with your circles on the social network.

Also see: 15 Google Earth and Street View Mysteries and Best of Google Maps and Google Earth 2011

Follow Daniel Ionescu and Today@PCWorld on Twitter

IDG UK Sites

Windows 10 release date, price, features UK: Staggered release with PCs coming first this summer -...

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

MacBook Pro 15in preview: better battery life, faster storage and a new discrete graphics chip may...