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Google Earth Beta for Mac 64

Posted by Zonk
from the hooray-for-earth dept.
Thijs van As writes "AppleInsider reports that Google is developing a Google Earth version for Mac OS X. From the screenshots it looks similar to the Windows version, which is out since June 2005. The OS X version uses OpenGL rendering." From the article: "Earlier this month, a pre-release version of Google Earth for Mac OS X that uses OpenGL rendering reportedly began making the rounds overseas. The 40MB application packs a hefty set of preferences, allowing users to tweak detail and color, and control the speed of their 'flights.' Google Earth interfaces with Google's Web-based mapping service, Google Maps, in providing local search results and driving directions. However, sources say Google Earth for Mac OS X includes a superior set of satellite imagery when compared to the Google Maps Web service, offering additional clarity and a deeper zoom function."
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Google Earth Beta for Mac

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  • Whew, that is ugly. It looks like, I dunno, Limewire.

    The tabs that haven't been used since 10.2, the cheesy movement controls, the ugly shiny candy headers on Places and Layers...

    Well, at least it's not metal.
    • Maybe the screenshot was taken with the app running on 10.2.
    • by fyngyrz (762201) on Friday December 09, 2005 @01:58PM (#14221229) Homepage Journal
      ...I'm just happy to see it. While I enjoy pretty, what actually matters to me is functionality and reliability. And in this case, simply availability — this has been beta under Windows for quite some time already.

      Too much focus on pretty can result in the "Hollywood Effect" —beauty without value, or worse, beauty that impacts value... like recent media player designs or the incredibly bad Kai's interfaces of yore. I've had enough of that kind of craziness.

      • by moosesocks (264553) on Friday December 09, 2005 @03:56PM (#14222511) Homepage
        We're not talking about 'pretty' here. The main gripe the mac community has with programs like this is that they do not follow the conventions of a normal OS X user interface. A 'pretty' media player would have the same problem.

        The strength of the Cocoa and Carbon windowing toolkits has allowed many first-rate applications to be developed without requiring the developers to resort to creating their own (ugly) controls. Windows has been guilty of this on many accounts, and microsoft's only beginning to make up for it with .NET. It's not uncommon to see custom UIs in Windows such as Winamp, GEarth, iTunes, Trillian, etc.... because the standard UI controls available are simply not sufficent to create a usable, streamlined application that's also visually appealing.

        In contrast, GEarth could operate just fine using standard OS X controls and conforming to the OS X UI Guidelines [apple.com]. Using a standardized toolkit also has many nice perks like that drag-and-drop *always* works.
        • No, I think you *are* talking about pretty. The "conventions of the OSX interface" aren't nearly as important to me as they are to you. And a media player that is decently skinnable (mplayer comes to mind) can hopefully have any UI you want it to, and the first one it should have is the system standard one, but that in no way should preclude it also having any weird-assed interface that pleases the user.

          The fact is, there is more than one way to be usable. I have no, and I mean zero, problem, us

          • The fact is, there is more than one way to be usable. I have no, and I mean zero, problem, using the GIMP under OSX because the interface is 100% functional.

            But it's completely inconsistent with standard Mac GUI conventions.

            In fact, most of the problems the GIMP has on the Mac are a consequence of OSX, for example, clicking on a window doesn't do what it should based on the UI element clicked upon, instead, it'll activate the window, which is just plain bad UI design

            It'd be pretty annoyed if click

      • following a few simple interface guidelines would suffice - it doesn't have to be gaudy like the Kai or flashy like first person shooter game menus - this is a crazy mix of interfaces from 10.2, 10.3 and Windows XP - style buttons. This isn't anywhere near ready for primetime usage unless it's been camoflauged to throw sneaks off the scent.
    • Whew, that is ugly. It looks like, I dunno, Limewire.
      Could be worse; could be Internet Explorer.

      Who cares? One less reason to use the PC!

      Now if you can only enable monospaced text editing in GMail, Google, I'll be your friend for life.
    • I don't know... (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by uradu (10768)
      It looks about as cheesy as the rest of Mac OS X, past or present. Candy buttons are candy buttons, regardless of degree of shine.
    • by antdude (79039)
      I wonder if that means it will work under Mac OS X 10.2? I am still running 10.2.8 on my old PowerBook G4 (1 Ghz; 512 MB of RAM). I am just cheap and lazy to upgrade. :)
    • It looks a lot better than the old days when a big companie's Mac version looked like, I dunno, nothing, nada, and zip.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09, 2005 @02:02PM (#14221263)
    well you dont have to wait for it http://mypersonalgetaway.com/ [mypersonalgetaway.com]
  • One other Google port that I would love to see for OS X would be Picasa [google.com]. Such a great program for organizing and keeping track of your photos (much better than iPhoto in my opinion).
  • where can I get it? I don't see any useful links in the article or on the google earth page.
  • by Ilgaz (86384) on Friday December 09, 2005 @03:29PM (#14222216) Homepage
    There is Earthbrowser on OS X (and win32) for ages. I don't think it is same with Google earth but it is much more educational and fun program.

    They now added satellite photos feature so makes it more cool.

    It is installed on many schools,universities but doesn't make it "boring". Especially on hurricane season. ;)

    Check yourself

    http://www.earthbrowser.com/ [earthbrowser.com]
  • I tried to use it on a PB running 10.3.9 and it never appeared in the dock after double clicking. . . Usual behavior for those apps that require 10.4.
  • download (Score:5, Informative)

    by tezbobobo (879983) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @04:31AM (#14227253) Homepage Journal
    SHIT! I waited half a day for someone to list the download site - and noone did!

    If you want to download it, here it is. [macupdate.com]
  • Google Earth for Mac (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I downloaded Google Earth (Beta) 3.1.0171.0 build 12/1/05 (from MacUpdate) and it works well. Blazingly fast, as compared to a PC in medium resolution mode (512 x 512). Still a beta though, no printing, email, web etc. but it really flys!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This website has google earth as well as msn virtual earth accessable via web browser, so it is compatible with mac, linux, what ever has a flash enabled browser

    http://www.flashearth.com/ [flashearth.com]
  • by Lord Satri (609291) <alexandreleroux@noSPam.gmail.com> on Saturday December 10, 2005 @01:34PM (#14228863) Homepage Journal
    This is indeed really great news. Let's not forget the open NASA WorldWind [nasa.gov] project also has Java/OpenGL versions in development for MacOS X and Linux [csoft.net] and that WorldWind itself has been forked [slashgisrs.org] into Punt [sourceforge.net].

    If you're serious about geospatial, you might be interested in joining us [slashgisrs.org] :-)
  • If the application was written in QT, why didn't we see this sooner? Isn't that the whole idea of using QT - to get a cross platform set of GUI components so that you only really need to worry about the program logic underneath?

    I guess its possible that if the Windows version is using DirectX and the "other" versions are using OpenGL, that could be the cause for delay. However, I think QT might abstract the GL library anyway?

    Well, its about time anyway.

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