More than a billion people are going to be extremely happy today. The internet search titan has made its pricey Google Earth Pro free for all, helping save $399 a year along with several new features that make the geospatial software app even more appealing.
Whether it is a virtual tour to the corners of the world or planning a trek to the mountains, Google Earth Pro brings all necessary information at your fingertips.
Google Earth users are already aware of the usefulness of the virtual globe app, which was previously known as EarthViewer 3D before Google acquired the developer Keyhole Inc. in 2004. The popularity of Google Earth is huge considering its desktop client was downloaded by a billion people in October 2011. Google reserved a slew of features exclusively for pro subscribers, until now. With the free upgrade to Google Earth Pro, users can take advantage of printing premium high-resolution image, automatically geo-locating geographic information system (GIS) images, and import large size image files among other features.
"Starting today, even more people will be able to access Google Earth Pro: we're making it available for free. To see what Earth Pro can do for you—or to just have fun flying around the world—grab a free key and download Earth Pro today," Stafford Marquardt, Product Manager, Google Earth Pro, wrote in a blog.
There are no changes required for those who are already running Google Earth Pro.
Get Started with Google Earth Pro
Getting started with Google Earth Pro is as simple as three main steps.
- Download Google Earth Pro on a compatible PC (Windows or Mac)
- Install the downloaded files
- Launch Google Earth Pro and login with the details
The username will be same as the email address you used to register and the license key will be sent to registered email address. Once logged in, you can start exploring the virtual world.
Google Earth Vs. Google Earth Pro
In order to give convincing reasons for users to upgrade to the pro version of Google Earth, here's a quick comparison of the features in both versions. (Via Google Earth Pro)
|Features||Google Earth||Google Earth Pro|
|Print images||Screen Resolution only||Premium High-Res Images|
|Regionate large datasets||-||Yes|
|Batch geocode addresses||-||Yes|
|Import GIS data||-||Yes|
|Import GIS images||Manually Geo-Locate||Automatically Geo-Locate|
|Import large image files||Limited Texture Size||Up to Super Image Overlays|
|Access demographic, parcel & traffic data layers||-||Yes|
|Create premium movies||-||Yes|
|Measure area of a polygon or circle||-||Yes|
|Map multiple points at once||-||Yes|
|Map making tool||-||Yes|