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Google Earth diminutive browser plugin

Google LatLong blog announced a new browser plugin that enables users to get the same high-flying experience they’ve been getting in the standalone geography software application Google Earth. Instead of the Google Earth app, you need to install a plugin that only works in Firefox and Internet Explorer 6/7 on Windows.

[…]Driven by an extensive JavaScript API, you can control the camera; create lines, markers, and polygons; import 3D models from the web and overlay them anywhere on the planet. In fact, you can even overlay your content over different planets, stars, and galaxies by toggling Sky mode, letting you build 3D Google Sky mashups. You can also enable 3D buildings with a single line of JavaScript, attach JavaScript callbacks to mouse events, fetch KML data from the web, and more.[…]

If you already are one of the 150,000 Maps API sites, and now want to 3D-enable it, we’ve made that possible with just a single line of JavaScript: just add the new G_SATELLITE_3D_MAP map type to your MapsAPI initialization code, and (for most common usages of Maps API) your site will “automagically” support Google Earth via a button in the maps view, with all your existing 2D map code now functioning in 3D as well.

The technology ties into the Google Earth API, and the current example found here lets you zoom around all of earth, complete with 3D topography. The controls are a little more stripped down, with one button that scrolls around and right click contextual menus that let the user control which angle they’re viewing the map from. In the future, developers will be able to build their own tools on top of this platform, and drop it right into their sites.

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