Google launches Earth view for Google Maps

Google has moved one step closer to letting us explore the world from the comfort of our sofas.

The search giant, which has its fingers in other pies, has launched Earth view in Google Maps, which lets users who haven’t got the funds for an around the world ticket swoop down from space and explore parts of the world in 3D. This includes mountains, if you’re the climbing type, and first person dives under the sea.

Others can simply explore buildings in 3D as well as fly (superman style) to the location of their choice as well as search for businesses and get directions.

Because Earth view is built right into Google Maps, users can switch between Map, Satellite, and Earth views, making it easier to find a biking trail using the bike maps feature and then look at it in Earth view to see how hilly the route is.

The new interface is a great way to have a look around the world, but if we’re honest it doesn’t do much more than Google Earth except for give us images in 3D. The zoom and toggle are the same format and the way information is displayed is identical. If we had to pay for this, then we probably wouldn’t part with our cash.

If you want to access Earth view, go to Google Maps and click the new “Earth” button. You may have to download a Google Earth Plugin, but let’s face it, it’s more convenient than an airline ticket and you won’t get stuck abroad because of volcanic ash.