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Google developing Google Earth for Mac OS X  

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Google Inc., the world's largest search engine, is developing a beta version of its fascinating Google Earth geographical satellite imagery and mapping application for Apple Computer's Mac OS X operating system, sources tell AppleInsider.

The application asks users to type in an address and will then "fly" the user from space to the address through satellite imagery. Users can then zoom in on the aerial satellite view of the search location, view buildings and landscapes, and tilt and rotate the view to see 3D terrain and buildings.

Google Earth also offers driving directions and lets users search for schools, parks, restaurants, and hotels. Additionally, the application includes multiple layer support, allowing users to annotate satellite views and combine multiple layers of information such as restaurant locations, driving directions and service stations.

In late June, Google deployed a free beta version of Google Earth on the Windows platform. The company said the application "utilizes broadband streaming technology and 3D graphics, much like a videogame, enabling users to interactively explore the world, either their own neighborhood or the far corners of the globe."

An advanced version of Google Earth for Windows includes GPS (Global Positioning System) compatibility for $20 a year, while a commercial version promises high-resolution printing and other professional tools for $400 a year.

Earlier this month, a pre-release version of Google Earth for Mac OS X that uses OpenGL rendering reportedly began making the rounds overseas. The 40MB application packs a hefty set of preferences, allowing users to tweak detail and color, and control the speed of their "flights."

Google Earth interfaces with Google's Web-based mapping service, Google Maps, in providing local search results and driving directions. However, sources say Google Earth for Mac OS X includes a superior set of satellite imagery when compared to the Google Maps Web service, offering additional clarity and a deeper zoom function.

View more images of Google Earth for Mac OS X

Over the past year, search rivals have been launching new mapping services and related tools in an effort to capitalize on the lucrative search industry. At the Wall Street Journal "D" conference in May, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates previewed a tool similar to Google Earth called MSN Virtual Earth. Meanwhile, Amazon.com has launched a comparable project through its A9.com Web site that aims to provide photos of most U.S.-based businesses for an online service called BlockView.
post #2 of 50
I hope they tone down some of those super-glossy, blue elements in favor for something more minimal and simple -- it looks a bit like an app for early Aqua, circa 10.0 - 10.2.

Great to see this amazing app in development, though. Go Google!
post #3 of 50
I agree, it does look like an app from the early Mac OS X days. I remember things used to look like this in Mac OS X 10.1, which I hated.
post #4 of 50
Google Maps is great, but this would be even more fun. Some of the buttons are odd-looking, but no more so than many apps. It seems like an often-requested Mac app, and I'll be glad to have it.
post #5 of 50
Yes yes yes I've been waiting for this for so long! I can't wait to be able to use Google Earth on my Mac!
post #6 of 50
Where can I get a copy of the beta???
post #7 of 50
Looking forward to the OSX treatment of this program...had a good deal of fun with it on my friend's PC. And it runs suprisingly smoothly on even a low-end PC.

As a matter of fact, I could've imagined Apple making this kind of narrow app not too long ago.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

post #8 of 50
Man that looks like crap.
post #9 of 50
Ugh, no kidding. That application's interface is ugly! It doesn't adhere to Aqua guidelines (the most telling case of this is when some controls are nested inside a box, and the text goes out right to the borders of that box). Hint: if you want to pack that many options into a preference panel of that size, use the small or mini-sized interface controls, not regular-sized ones.

I've tried out Google Earth on Windows, and while the technology that does the mapping and visualization is awesome, it seems more like a Linux/Windows app than a polished app that I typically expect from Google -- there are too many options, the interface isn't intuitively designed, and the interface in general isn't fun to look at.

Ugh. Google needs to hire some interface designers. Or at least take some cues from the web-based Google Maps or something. Blah.
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post #10 of 50
Well, this is good news, to have this programme coming to the Mac. It is the maps, the atlas that I have waited for, for a long time. Good to hear it is coming to the Macintosh platform.

I haven't yet seen anything of the Mac version, we can give google feedback about the way it looks and works.

Thanks for the story Appleinsider.

Now we will have one less lacking on the Mac platform, one more useful and educational app.

Thanks, google.
post #11 of 50
I can't seem to get Microsoft's Virtual Earth service to work with Safari 2.0, Firefox 1.5 or IE 5.2. Anybody else have the problem? It works on Camino 1.0. I have to admit, their aerial photographs are a lot more interesting and useful than Google's satellite photos. I can't tell much from looking at a building's roof, after all. A9's Blockview doesn't look like anything more than a cleaned-up version of their Visual Yellow Pages, which never impressed me.
post #12 of 50
Big Brother is watching
post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by kiwimac
Big Brother is watching

I hope he isn't right now because I'm naked. :o
post #14 of 50
Are they using Qt for the GUI or somthing like that? It sure is fugly.
JLL

95% percent of the boat is owned by Microsoft, but the 5% Apple controls happens to be the rudder!
JLL

95% percent of the boat is owned by Microsoft, but the 5% Apple controls happens to be the rudder!
post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by kiwimac
Big Brother is watching

Yes, I think you are right, however little attention he pays.

So the people who answered the MMPI(Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory, used as a psychiatric tool for many years) question in the affirmative, they were right all along.
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by kiwimac
Big Brother is watching

He has always been watching. The change now is we get a rough idea of what he is seeing.

Of course we are not allowed to see Big Brother

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=white+...1018&t=k&hl=en
"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
post #17 of 50
Google earth is based on old Keyhole software product that used to be bundled with old nvidia TNT2 cards for PC, thats why it runs so smoothly nowadays, and also why it doesn't look like something google created.
post #18 of 50
Glad to see this finally getting close. I believe Google's site has always said they "are working on it" for the Mac.

The UI is consistent with the current Google Earth on Windows. The check boxes and scroll thingies are standard Aqua widgets, I believe. (Does that indicate this is a Cocoa app?) Considering how badly Apple follows it's own UI guidelines, I wouldn't rag on Google for making the Windows and Mac versions look the same as possible using OS provided UI elements.

And this is a non-public beta; they may be playing around with the UI elements to see what works best.

And, if you think Google Earth is hard to use, you've never used "real" GIS software. U-G-L-Y.

- Jasen.
post #19 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by jasenj1

The UI is consistent with the current Google Earth on Windows. The check boxes and scroll thingies are standard Aqua widgets, I believe. (Does that indicate this is a Cocoa app?)

Looks like a trashy Java/Swing app to me. That most certainly isn't Cocoa.

Quote:
Considering how badly Apple follows it's own UI guidelines, I wouldn't rag on Google for making the Windows and Mac versions look the same as possible using OS provided UI elements.

Apple has done a few stupid things in the past but I've never seen them produce anything this horrible looking. Steve Jobs would rather kill himself than release something that ridiculously ugly.

Quote:
And this is a non-public beta; they may be playing around with the UI elements to see what works best.

If this is what they're "playing around with" then I have no confidence in their abilities.
post #20 of 50
I found a copy of Google Earth for OS X. Installed it under OS X(x86). The first few times I launched it it would zoom in on the globe and then freeze. But then I tried again and told it to go to New York, then Chicago, etc. So yea, it's for real. I'm gonna try it on my iBook tonight to see if it's any faster than on x86 OS X.
post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleRISC
Looks like a trashy Java/Swing app to me. That most certainly isn't Cocoa.

Apple has done a few stupid things in the past but I've never seen them produce anything this horrible looking. Steve Jobs would rather kill himself than release something that ridiculously ugly.

If this is what they're "playing around with" then I have no confidence in their abilities.

Do you realise what a total twat you sound like? If you don't like the buttons, then don't download the FREE application. You'll be missing out on pretty much the coolest, most fun FREE application ever, but if upon reflection, you would rather kill yourself, don't let me stop you...
post #22 of 50
All officially unofficially release in a beta form

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/20124
post #23 of 50
why wont this work for me? i launch the app and it just bounces in the dock then disappears

is it only for 10.4 or somethin?

god damn i hate these companies...
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post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by TigerWoods99
why wont this work for me? i launch the app and it just bounces in the dock then disappears

is it only for 10.4 or somethin?

god damn i hate these companies...

I hate people that don't read the min. reqs on Macupdate:

Quote:
Requirements:
Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
...


...
...


...
post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
He has always been watching. The change now is we get a rough idea of what he is seeing.

Of course we are not allowed to see Big Brother

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=white+...1018&t=k&hl=en

Gotta love how the censored what's on the roofs of the whitehouse and the buildings adjacent to it.
post #26 of 50
get the tiger-beta
[edit]by looking somewhere else[/edit]
cheers

Anders edit: I am sure it is pretty easy to get the non-public beta if you want to. It just won´t happen at a public place like the forums of AI. So look elsewhere
post #27 of 50
[Anders edit]Take a hint please. Obviously its easy to find the beta but we are not gonna be used for that okay? [/Anders edit]

It worked fine on first launch on my new Hi-Res 15" PowerBook (2GB RAM, 7200 rpm hard drive).

It's a little choppy and image refresh can be a bit slow, but is that my Internet connection or my wireless router or does the app need some optimization?

Yes the interface is, shall we say, a bit inelegant, but it's in damn good shape for a beta. I'm just glad to have it!
Macintosh: It just WORKS!
Macintosh: It just WORKS!
post #28 of 50
I'm on an iMac FP OK, I never expected it to work that amazingly well, but the PC version runs smoothly on craputers! They'd better do some optimization.

To the people complaining about the UI: Stop. It's the Windows interface ported to Mac. They could change it.

But knowing what did with the gmail notifier... Don't get your hopes up.
post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by red_kola
Do you realise what a total twat you sound like? If you don't like the buttons, then don't download the FREE application. You'll be missing out on pretty much the coolest, most fun FREE application ever, but if upon reflection, you would rather kill yourself, don't let me stop you...

Google is a multi-billion dollar company. I think they can afford to do the job right. The fact that it's free and fun doesn't change the fact that the user interface looks like a pile of horse excrement.
post #30 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleRISC
Google is a multi-billion dollar company. I think they can afford to do the job right. The fact that it's free and fun doesn't change the fact that the user interface looks like a pile of horse excrement.

Yeah well, if they wanted to, you wouldn't even have the chance to use that app, so, its better to keep your baseless comments to yourself.

If you don't like it - make a better one, and don't charge any money for it. When you do that, and make no money off of it, even though you're responsible to your shareholders to make money, then you can keep giving UI classes here, mmkay?
'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
post #31 of 50
Or better yet. Sent them an email giving suggestions about the interface. Unconstructive complains about free, not public released, beta software is quite funny...
"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
post #32 of 50
I find people's passion about GEß's UI interesting. Tell me, you you hate the Windows interface so much? Because at the moment, they're the same except for the background and sliders.
post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by PathDæmon
Tell me, you you hate the Windows interface so much?

Yes. It is quite atrocious.
post #34 of 50
I don't like windos interface, either.

However, I sure am happy to see that an application like this is coming to the Mac platform, to make this picture/mapping software for us. I am looking at the sample JPEG that can be printed.

The free programme is one thing, there is the 'plus'(20$), and the 'pro'(400$ to start with, then add modules), too. I hope to be able to look over these things more closely before too long. They offer a 7 day trial for the pro version(windos). The various module choices for the pro version amount to 200$ per, one for GIS, one for higher resolution printing, one for movies...
post #35 of 50
Good data.

Bad interface. Like someone said, it looks like an open source app. ugly.

Hey all we need now is a GIS app!
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"Overpopulation and climate change are serious shit." Gilsch
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post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Aquatic
Good data.

Bad interface. Like someone said, it looks like an open source app. ugly.

Hey all we need now is a GIS app!

Actually, the interface looks like the PC side. Bad or not, I'd rather have consistency. This is the most useful teaching tool (for me as a Geologist) that has been invented since Powerpoint. I use this in nearly every one of my introductory lectures. It's absolutely fantastic, and I'll buy the $30 version the minute it is released for OS X.

By the way, there are several GIS apps available for OS X. One is Canvas (which is nice drawing software - much more intuitive than Illustrator), which has a GIS and/or Scientific Imaging plugin. The other GIS app is GRASS GIS, which is the largest UNIX open source software project ever, and you can download it and run it through X11 on OS X for free. Canvas is much better and is OS X native (Mac native since the 1980's).

www.acdamerica.com
post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Wolber
Gotta love how the censored what's on the roofs of the whitehouse and the buildings adjacent to it.

Actually there are several things censored, including entire military installations in various places.
post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by jasenj1
Glad to see this finally getting close. I believe Google's site has always said they "are working on it" for the Mac.

The UI is consistent with the current Google Earth on Windows. The check boxes and scroll thingies are standard Aqua widgets, I believe. (Does that indicate this is a Cocoa app?) Considering how badly Apple follows it's own UI guidelines, I wouldn't rag on Google for making the Windows and Mac versions look the same as possible using OS provided UI elements.

And this is a non-public beta; they may be playing around with the UI elements to see what works best.

And, if you think Google Earth is hard to use, you've never used "real" GIS software. U-G-L-Y.

- Jasen.

OMG, yes. ArcView is HORRENDOUS! Talk about clunky. Rockworks is horrible too. Totally unintuitive. I'll say it again and again though: It is for the good of the OS X platform to have the same layout for these types of applications as the Windows side. UI differences for common apps are what make many Windows users (in my experience) reluctant to move to OS X. Not only is the OS different, but some apps are different. Even the slight differences in Office are enough to erk some people. Let the OS X only apps or apps on OS X first (iTunes, etc) have what we consider the better interface and port that to Windows.

UI consistency across platforms is the best choice and easiest choice. I'd rather have the app than not have the app.

Long live Google Earth on Mac OS X. Thank you, Google!
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by fluidinclusion
Actually, the interface looks like the PC side. Bad or not, I'd rather have consistency. This is the most useful teaching tool (for me as a Geologist) that has been invented since Powerpoint. I use this in nearly every one of my introductory lectures. It's absolutely fantastic, and I'll buy the $30 version the minute it is released for OS X.

By the way, there are several GIS apps available for OS X. One is Canvas (which is nice drawing software - much more intuitive than Illustrator), which has a GIS and/or Scientific Imaging plugin. The other GIS app is GRASS GIS, which is the largest UNIX open source software project ever, and you can download it and run it through X11 on OS X for free. Canvas is much better and is OS X native (Mac native since the 1980's).

www.acdamerica.com

An interesting post you have made here. I have been asking a friend of mine who is a geophysicist in Arabia if he has looked at earth.google yet. He is not teaching, he works in the field, really at his workstation. Still, one would think that seeing the landforms would be of interest.

You speak of Canvas. I remembered that it had a GIS plugin, and have wondered how well that worked for the Mac.
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Wolber
Gotta love how the censored what's on the roofs of the whitehouse and the buildings adjacent to it.

Don't forget area 51: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=37.27...4383&t=k&hl=en

EDIT: The roofs of the House, etc. aren't censored on Google Earth! Hehehe!
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