Google Earth in the browser window
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I wonder how long we'll have to wait until we have a native Google Earth in a webbrowser (there is a third party plugin, but its not quite there yet). I find myself hardly using Google Earth these days cause its just too much to load the app and switch away from my browser (which has more or less become my default desktop by now). When I need to look up a place on a map I type 'maps' in the URL field and Google Maps is there in an instance. Having been an avid Google Earth user earlier this year, an important shortcut I find myself trying in Google Maps is shift-pagedown/up, the ability to tilt my view from the vertical to get a sense of perspective by rotating around a fixed position on the Earth. You know its there, outside the borders of the Google Maps iframe, the whole dataset of Google Earth/Maps, but it just isn't obvious to navigate 3D space having only the 3 translational dimensions. This page is getting close to the Google Earth experience, but still there is a strong limitation without the rotations.
These are some interesting videos to look at related to above remark, where here the emphasis is on what would happen if you'd add the 3rd dimension to the flat 2-d space of the desktop: (1) BumpTop and (2) SUN's desktop