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A Google Earth Plus Update

index-free I received yet another update from Google yesterday regarding the demise of Google Earth Plus.  I appreciate that they are going through the trouble of reiterating my options.  I’m going with the free route right now, having installed Google Earth 5.0 but that’s it.  Here is how Google summarized my options:

As a valued Google Earth customer, we want you to be the first to know that Google will no longer offer Google Earth Plus. With new enhancements to Google Earth released this week, we believe the needs of many Google Earth Plus customers will be met with Google Earth 5.0, which is freely available to all our customers. For those customers who require additional capabilities and faster speeds, we have a special offer to try Google Earth Pro free of charge for two months. If you like it, you can buy it with a limited-time discount only available to our Google Earth Plus customers.

The latest version of Google Earth lets customers import and track global positioning system (GPS) data. Our Google Earth Plus customers told us GPS tracking is one of the main reasons they choose Google Earth Plus. Now, since you can use this feature for free in Google Earth 5.0, there’s little separation between Plus and the free product. In order to simplify the decision of which version of Google Earth best meets our customers’ needs, we decided it no longer made sense to continue Google Earth Plus.

As a current user of Google Earth Plus, you have several options:

  • Stay with Google Earth Plus. You can continue using Google Earth Plus for the time being, until either your license expires or until we come out with a new version of Google Earth. Learn more
  • Use the standard version of Google Earth. You can now import and track GPS data in Google Earth 5.0 without having to pay an annual fee. Learn more
  • Try Google Earth Pro. Google Earth Pro includes additional features to let you to do even more with Google Earth. For example, print and save images with 3x higher resolution for your documents and presentations, import GIS data, and import up to 2,500 rows of spreadsheet data. As a loyal Google Earth customer, we are offering you a two-month free trial of Google Earth Pro and the opportunity to purchase a one-year subscription for $99 (regular price of $400).
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Google Earth 5.0 is Available

index-free It seemed like we were on version 4.3 for forever, but yesterday Google released version 5.0 of Google Earth.  You can download the new version here.  New features in version 5 include historic imagery where available, an ocean layer including bathymetry, and the ability to create personalized, narrated tours that you can share with others.  More details are available.

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A Google Earth Plus Update

index-free Google obviously got an earful about killing Google Earth Plus and sent me updated email just one day after their original email.  After a considerable amount of negative feedback about pulling the import and tracking features from all versions of Google Earth except for the $400 Pro Version, Google will soon provide these features in the free version!  Here is the explanation that they provided me:

As mentioned in our previous email, we’ve simplified our product choices for our Google Earth customers and Google Earth Plus is no longer available for purchase. This has caused some concerns from our customers who rely mostly on the GPS features of Plus, so we wanted to address them.

We know that one of the main reasons why people choose Google Earth Plus is GPS import and tracking. We realize that some users are disappointed in the loss of this feature, so we wanted to let you know we’re working on making GPS one of the features of the free version in the near future. In the meantime, we’re happy to extend expiring Plus subscriptions for three months — free of charge — and continue to extend until the GPS feature is available for free. Learn how to extend your current Plus subscription.

These product changes are based on user feedback that with 3 different products — Google Earth, Google Earth Plus, and Google Earth Pro — customers sometimes got confused about what each version offered. Over time, the separation between Plus and the free product has decreased, and by moving GPS features into the free product, we believe that Google Earth will meet the needs of most of our existing Plus users.

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Google is Killing Google Earth Plus

index-free I purchased Google Earth Plus so I could utilize my real-time GPS cursor in Google Earth.  Along with a combination of other plugins and data, it was almost like I had a full-blown GIS system running.  Well, I got an email today from Google stating that they were discontinuing Google Earth Plus.  Here are a couple of excerpts:

As a valued Google Earth customer, we want you to be the first to know that Google is phasing out Google Earth Plus. We believe the needs of most Google Earth Plus customers will be met with Google Earth, which is freely available to all our customers. For those customers who require additional capabilities and faster speeds, we would like to offer you a special opportunity to try Google Earth Pro free of charge. If you like it, you can buy it at a special discount available only to Google Earth Plus customers.

If your Google Earth Plus license is about to expire, and you’re hooked on the GPS data import capability, we’re happy to extend your subscription for 3 months, free of charge. Learn more

I guess I’m going to break down and purchase Google Earth Pro.

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New CORS Google Maps

from the CORS newsletter:

The CORS web site (www.ngs.noaa.gov/CORS/) features a new set of dynamic Google maps to facilitate access to CORS information.  These updated maps were designed and implemented by The CORS Team. Please view these maps when you get a chance and share with us (http://ngs.cors@noaa.gov) your thoughts on their effectiveness.

For a while, the CORS web site will continue to display the static CORS maps that we have relied upon for nearly a decade.  These static maps, however, will eventually be discontinued.  The static maps have well served CORS users, but they are labor intensive to keep up to date.

I welcome this update.  This is a perfect use for Google maps.

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