Pros 3D Layout of Popular Cities, Visual Layout of all the roads and buildings that surround it, Layers are awesome in telling you where certain types of locations are. Very accurate
Cons Only major US cities have 3D buildings. And even then it's only 90% of the city at best. Streaming media isn't always reliable/fast. Too many layers can make for clutter.
Summary I've been a fan of satellite images off of the internet, such as GlobeXplorer, for a long time. I first got into it when mapquest used to give you the option of getting a picture map, using satellite imaging, of the area you were looking at. What made it particularly nice was that it gave you the choice to zoom in and zoom out, and would overlay the roads that were shown on it. Great for when you're driving somewhere new and like to have visible landmarks to ensure you are headed in the right direction. Although this was years ago, and since mapquest has removed this feature, it was great.
Now that Google, the search engine to end all search engines, has released this, I am amazed. They created with satellite imaging, and some hard core programming, a 3D layout of major cities, worldwide. This way, you have a pretty good idea of what the building may look like, when you're driving downtown to the new bar that just opened on the corner of 17th and F streets. What makes it great is the tilt feature that allows you to actually view the landscape as though you were in a plane, giving you a birds I view of the area.
The layers and search options are what really make this program amazing. Type anything you want into the search area and Google Earth maps the locations of any nearby buildings with that search topic in the name. The layers provide a similar service but with preselected buildings, such as gas stations, librarys, restuarants, bars, clubs, and even churches. All major transit lines are even outlined. Railroads, airports, metro stops. This application can truely be used to mapout a visit to a new city. It's even possible to create your own layer, or add specific points to the map. Such as your house, your school, the best liquor store, anything, the possibilities are truely endless.
With all the pros of this applications, the only cons are what can only be expected from a beta release of any software. Yes there are some bugs, but right when you install it Google adds a questions as to whether or not you want to provide anonymous statistics, to help with the development of the application. Also, although cities are the most important, this application isn't complete with the 3D buildings. Some maps, as mentioned in the CNET review, will have have of the city picture perfect, and the other half a blur. The 3D building are mostly limited to just inner city buildings, but I'm sure they are updated all the time. Also, type in too many search items and maps become cluttered, which is not the programs fault, but rather the user. Streaming the maps in real time also helps with keeping the file cache low, but can become somewhat time consuming, especially with large cities, and how closely you zoom in. I would suggest Google add a type of favorites or cookies feature, if you will, so that the user won't have to wait for frequently used maps to load each time they start the program.
All in all, this is really a great program, whether you want to kill time, or be scared at how close you can zoom in on your house. Although there all some cons, they are seriously outweighed by the extent and possibilities of the program. I think if enough people download this program, and just play around with it, Google will really have something great when it releases an official version. Download it and see for yourself.
Oh and PS, and word to the wise, don't click the crime stats layer, unless you want to be scared of sleeping at night.
~Nelson, Silver Spring MD.
Pros It's free, good mapping tools, has the ability to find trails
Cons Not all places in the US are in high res., need an up to date computer
Summary For me, this program is perfect. I run, so now I can trace new routes and find new trails and find out exactly how many miles it is to the nearest 100th of a decimal place. It zooms so close that I can even tell my mini vans apart (same model and similar colors) and see each individual lane at my school's track. The best part is that it's free!
"Good, but...."on by EuStressed
Pros Fun, and fast
Cons in many ways TerraExplorer is better
Summary Google seems to be faster, but for 3D you can not beat TerraExplorer. Overall they seem to be comparable. Google's overlay data is more comprehensive. TE's controls are more versatile. Check it out for yourself.
Pros get lost looking everywhere you've ever been!
Cons doesn't work for macs, grrrrrrrrr.
Summary this is better than terraserver & addictive, you can look up every old address you've ever had --
Pros i like i can see where my friends and family is
Cons it dont zoom it like i heard it whould i heard i can see my backyard but i see a blure on my house at 145 zoom
Summary just read the damn pros: and cons: sorry but why are thay there!!!!!!!!