You no longer have to download the desktop app or use a browser plug-in to access Google Earth. Just in time for Earth Day, Google has launched a redesigned Google Earth that’s accessible over the web and on Android. The redesign took over two years, and includes new features like Voyager, a series of interactive stories that let you explore interesting places from all over the world:
Start with Natural Treasures from BBC Earth, and journey to six habitats—from islands to mountains to jungles—and learn about the unique and thrilling wildlife in each. Then head to Gombe National Park in Tanzania and hear from Jane Goodall about her team’s chimpanzee research and conservation efforts. And make a stop in Mexico with Lola, one of 12 little monsters featured in Sesame Street’s Girl Muppets Around the World, and learn about modern Mayan cultures.
With more than 50 immersive stories in Voyager, and more added weekly, there are lots of adventures to choose from.
Google has also integrated Knowledge Graph into Earth, allowing you to get more information about a particular location. Whenever you search for a place, you’ll see a Knowledge Card that highlights facts about that location. If you’re just browsing, the “I’m feeling lucky” button takes you to one of 20,000 curated destinations, such as an island off the Swahili coast to hot springs in Japan.
Another new feature addition is 3D views, which can be toggled by selecting the 3D button from the lower left corner of the interface. Doing so gives you a much more immersive experience as you can pan, tilt, zoom, and get 360-degree views of your favorite places.
Google mentions that the new features will be rolled out to the Android app via an update to version 9.0 sometime this week, but until that time, you’ll be able to view Google Earth in all its glory on the web. What do you guys think of the redesign?