The production version of Google Earth is now available for download. The executable is a 10 MB Windows download, but this is just the start of the demands on your connection. Panning, zooming, and otherwise roaming the Earth will stress your net connection to the utmost. I’m finally ready to upgrade my 368K DSL to the next level, so that applications like this can run faster. I paid for the Plus version a while ago, shortly after Google acquired Keyhole. Google has rewarded early purchasers by extending their subscription for an additional year.
The image at right (linked to a full size version) shows a cool 3D view of Seattle.
I have already used this application to help plan our summer road trip. Based on looking at a 2D map I thought that one of our en route hotels was nestled in between a couple of mountains. I loaded up ‘Earth and zoomed in and I was able to get a fairly good picture of the lay of the land.
The app runs pretty well on my antique Dual Pentium Pro (2 x 800 Mhz) with 1.5 GB of RAM, but I still think its time for an upgrade.