Google Earth for OS X

earth So, it’s out. The real, authorized version of Google Earth for OS X.

Very cool. I’d never seen the Windows version, so it’s all new to me (except the imagery, of course, which is the same used by Google Maps). A couple features I had no idea existed: tilt-the-earth (with optional topographic modeling, i.e. making hills hill-shaped), and 3D modeled buildings (check out the Manhattan skyline). It also has massive amounts of overlay data – roads, borders, place names, schools, stores, ATMs, churches, crime statistics…

Requires 10.4.x for the moment. Their recommended configuration:

  • G4 1.2Ghz+
  • 512M RAM
  • 2 GB of free disk space
  • Network speed: 768 Kbits/sec or better (DSL/Cable)
  • 3D-capable video card with 32 MB of VRAM or greater
  • 1280x1024, “32-bit True Color” screen

Despite the auspicious day of its release, it is a PowerPC build – not a universal binary. Presumably that’s coming, though it’s not on the list of features “to be implemented soon”:

  • OS X version 10.3.9 support
  • Plus and Pro versions [$20/year and $400/year, respectively]
  • Gmail as e-mail client
  • Embedded browser
  • Fullscreen mode

I’m a map geek, so I’m into it. It’s wonderful for seamless exploration. I do still wonder when/if we’ll see topographic data integrated. Google Earth just makes the interface for National Geographic’s TOPO software (which I own) seem even weaker than it did before.

Dave Pentecost commented on Thu Jan 12 12:00:59 2006:

Hi Paul

Great overview for OS X map geeks! I’ve posted some links to more OS X and GE information, as well as a tour of the Usumacinta River, in the Maya region between Mexico and Guatemala (my spring stomping ground).

I got a little head start with the “leaked” beta version. I agree - Mac folks are going to love this.

Your readers will enjoy the community aspects of Google Earth - sharing placemarks and tours.

Paul commented on Thu Jan 12 13:54:15 2006:

Great stuff, thanks for posting. I enjoyed the tour!

victor commented on Wed Feb 8 20:02:28 2006:

It’s funny, but it only works for me when I run it from the mounted image. If I drag it to my Applications folder and run it from there, it crashes while it’s loading. Contact me if you need further info to debug this.