Earth calling developers

29 May 2008

Google has brought its popular Google Earth feature to the browser.

The search company has unveiled the Google Earth API and browser plug-in.

The API will allow developers to quickly and easily use 3D mapping information on their own web pages, utilising the same technologies Google uses in its desktop Google Earth client.

Google said the interest among web users of viewing information in a geographical context has led to the rise of the ‘Geoweb’, a collection of user-generated content such as photos, videos and so on associated with a given location.

The Google Maps API, with over 150,000 developer sites, and the Google Earth client, with over 400 million downloads, have both been tremendously popular tools for users seeking to visualise this Geoweb of content.

The new API will allow developers to embed Google Earth inside any webpage with only a few lines of code, use the JavaScript API to enable rich, Earth-based web applications and manipulate KML and the 3D environment to, for example, create polygons, lines and placemarks.

It also includes the ability to convert your existing Google Maps API site to 3D with as little as one line of code, view the thousands of existing 3D buildings or add your own 3D models and switch to Google Sky mode for high-resolution imagery of stars, planets and galaxies.

By Niall Byrne