Applications, Tools and 3D Pipelines, Business in Virtual Worlds, Virtual World Platforms, Visualization in 3D

Google Earth Unbound - Is THIS Virtual Earth?

Google Earth (GE) recently announced that it would make a plug-in to allow GE to run in a browser (thus far, for Windows only). GE expects to see its mashups on the Web, in its words, “with many more applications than ever before.”

GE is careful to note that the entire application is not being converted into a browser, but only that the plug-in will run, which will enable developers to create applications and enable UI features. While the plug-in will not have all the features of the full GE client, it is still a favourable development for developers who can utilize its Day/Night mode, 3D models, layers, and support for the Sky mode.

Since the release (May 28), the GE blog posted an update on the successes of the launches. Interestingly, GE notes that the launch was intended to go ahead “without a full and rigorous testing,” essentially placing the beta in the hands of outside developers, who have gone ahead and bashed and mashed the GE plug-in with gusto.

Here are some ideas that GE has come up with:

“…more sophisticated games as implied by the Monster Milktruck example; custom flight simulators (or even combat flight games); guided tours with audio annotations; scientific visualizations with multiple layers of information; many kinds of 3D model animations will now be possible; geographic quizes/games; educational lessons; etc., etc. For a long time many of us have wished for scripting capabilities for Google Earth. But, the API is more than that. In fact, someone could program a scripting language now and publish it through an application using the API.”

Avatars in the mirror world anyone?

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