Google seems to have a new agenda these days. I read tonight that Google Earth has been released for Linux and downloaded it without thinking twice. I spent the whole evening playing around with the program and have to say that I am again, very impressed. The program is in beta, so when it did crash (just once), I couldn’t complain. The delivery was very clean. Instead of the .rpm that I downloaded for Picasa, this packages was a .bin file. Installation was a breeze, and it even prompted me to install a particular font that I was missing. The engine driving this application made use of the OpenGL hardware acceleration from my graphics card. The menu’s are QT instead of it running using WINE. My guess is that the company is still experimenting to see what method of delivery is the best for Linux, as there are many differences between this release and Picasa. It brings to mind a quote I read this weekend…

Michael Dell said “If the Linux desktops could converge at their cores, such a common platform would make it easier to support…” I think that Google is working on just that. What method of delivery is most adaptable by everyone using Linux? Is having to release 10+ distribution packages, and a tarball fair to the developer when trying to release an application? Thanks to this latest contribution from Google, and several other well placed articles, I can’t help but wonder if the trend isn’t gaining some serious momentum. I am not a zealot however, and I know that major obstacles need to be addressed before it is for everyone. Like Apple, Adobe and Macromedia hoping on board *cough cough*

Anyways, some pics below:

Some of the mountain ranges in Alaska

Mount McKinley, Alaska

Notice the 3D landscape effect when the angle is slightly rotated.

Mount St. Helens, WA (Yes I like mountains)

Using an image such as this one, you can almost reconstruct where the explosion blew off the side of the mountain.

This is a busy intersection in Baghdad, Iraq. And you though these photos are classified…

This smiley face is the gardens at the Palace of Versailles, France

Here is the Palace of Versailles in a more distant view. Yes, the architects had a little fun at the king’s expense.

Textures aside, the 3D buildings affect is a neat addition to the city views. The satellite imagery doesn’t seem to understand the “Dome” part of the capitol, but everything else seems pretty accurate. (Especially when considering the images are being taken from space)


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