Google developing Google Earth for Mac OS X

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    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!
  • Reply 2 of 49
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 49
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 49
    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!
  • Reply 5 of 49
    Where can I get a copy of the beta???
  • Reply 6 of 49
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 49
    Man that looks like crap.
  • Reply 8 of 49
    simxsimx Posts: 21member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 49
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 49
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 49
    Big Brother is watching
  • Reply 12 of 49
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kiwimac

    Big Brother is watching



    I hope he isn't right now because I'm naked. :o
  • Reply 13 of 49
    jlljll Posts: 2,709member
    Are they using Qt for the GUI or somthing like that? It sure is fugly.
  • Reply 14 of 49
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    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
  • Reply 16 of 49
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 49
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 49
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 49
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 49
    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...
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