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Google

Google Earth Pro Now Available Free 117

HughPickens.com writes Google has long offered a Pro version of Google Earth for $399 per year that includes some pretty cool extras not found in the free version. Now Rick Broida reports at Cnet that you can get Google Earth Pro absolutely free. All you have to do is download the installer, run it, then sign in using your e-mail address (as your username) and license code GEPFREE. Features include: Advanced measurements: Measure parking lots and land developments with polygon area measure, or determine affected radius with circle measure; High-resolution printing: Print images up to 4,800 x 3,200 pixel resolution; Exclusive pro data layers with Demographics and traffic count; Spreadsheet import: Ingest up to 2,500 addresses at a time, assigning place marks and style templates in bulk; and Movie-Maker: Export Windows Media and QuickTime HD movies, up to 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution. If you've ever been involved in a property dispute, you'll know how acrimonious they can get. Google Earth Pro includes parcel data that definitively defines property boundaries. "Do you really need this? Probably not, as Pro was created with business/enterprise users in mind," writes Broida. "Let's be honest, [Google Earth Pro has] entertainment value that's virtually impossible to measure."
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Google Earth Pro Now Available Free

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    That can only mean they're going to kill it as a money loser.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Between this, and the deprecation of Google Maps Engine (http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2015/01/google-maps-engine-deprecated.html), its pretty obvious that Google has decided to exit the enterprise geospatial market. They've never really succeeded in this market; it makes sense to focus engineering efforts where they can succeed.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        They're opening the gates on Google Earth Pro, as it's stuck in the middle between Google Earth and Google Earth EC (Enterprise Client). Those who need enterprise features go with EC, and those who don't can now save high-res maps, which makes us happy.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          and those in the us can go to the usgs national map viewer and download high res orthoimagery (aerial imagery modified to the correct coordinates unlike google earth) for most of the us for free already. and it includes other interesting data sets like elevation, ground cover etc.

  • Utility (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Iamthecheese ( 1264298 ) on Sunday February 08, 2015 @03:09PM (#49011641)
    Just as Google Maps and friends has saved millions of man-hours and probably hundreds of millions of dollars from people not being lost sufficiently wide adoption and awareness of these advanced features may save an immense amount of temporal and fiscal expense.

    Common usage combined with other services can, for example, create self-aware communities, allow public input for city planning, resolve boundary arguments, help individuals planning to, for example, install a swimming pool, and provide data for planning crop layouts.And that's just off the top of my very non-expert head. I think the implications of this are far broader than may be immediately recognized.
    • Re:Utility (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Sunday February 08, 2015 @04:38PM (#49012135) Homepage Journal

      I was able to prove out just now that the speed hump my friend in highschool's parents had the city put in front of their house isn't justified - the neighborhood street in front of our house had way more traffic and was only half a mile from them.

      • Re:Utility (Score:4, Informative)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday February 08, 2015 @07:58PM (#49013493) Homepage Journal

        I was able to prove out just now that the speed hump my friend in highschool's parents had the city put in front of their house isn't justified - the neighborhood street in front of our house had way more traffic and was only half a mile from them.

        Speed humps aren't justified at all, but the justification used is that they make people slow down, not that they make them choose another route. One ways make people choose another route. Speed humps just make people buy crossovers. Then they can comfortably drive over them at speed, and the only people who suffer are people who don't buy cars which are excessively tall.

  • Hyperbole (Score:5, Funny)

    by ohnocitizen ( 1951674 ) on Sunday February 08, 2015 @03:11PM (#49011663)
    The prevalence of hyperbole in modern journalism is virtually impossible to measure.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I did a malware scan (3 common engines) on the file and it checks out, the thing works for free.

    • Agree, I just spent about 30 minutes cruising around some sites overseas I was not able to see as clearly with online Maps.google.com

      Put me in a good mood. It's really nice and I appreciate someone putting the link in the summary.

    • I did a malware scan (3 common engines) on the file and it checks out, the thing works for free.

      Well, I'm not touching that one with a ten foot pole.

      If you've ever been involved in a property dispute, you'll know how acrimonious they can get.

      The way it's worded, it looks like it's bait for the Palestinians or the North Koreans to install.

  • by UziBeatle ( 695886 ) on Sunday February 08, 2015 @03:28PM (#49011759)

    parcel data that definitively defines property boundaries.

      BOGUS statement.

      As soon as I downloaded this I zoomed in on the area
    I live in (somewhere in N. Galveston CO. , Texas)
    and saw immediately the property lines were wrong.

    Not by a small margin either. All property lines along
    the road I live along were shifted by offset of around 20 to 30 feet.

      A further look at neighboring streets showed similar
    offsets.

      In the linked article to the story the blog clown stated
    this wondrous GM Pro could cheaply solve property disputes (or words to that effect).

        Yah, right. Nope. Might cause trouble but not a tool to cheaply determine property boundaries.

    Unreliable, therefor useless.

      Anyone else care to check theirs? I imagine it varies region to region how useful it is but bottom line if wrong in this area it is most likely wrong in other far flung areas.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 08, 2015 @04:04PM (#49011913)

      The truth is that the definitions of the property boundaries are exactly accurate, i.e., 100' N/S and 50' E/W. The issue is that how the surface features interact with those property boundaries is only an approximation.

      I work daily with this using a GIS systems. We have a custom-crafted map where an expert spent a lot of time doing what's called "rubber-sheeting", meaning stretching and squeezing the photo layer to make it line up as closely as possible with the lot lines layer, and it's still plus or minus a few feet, more than enough to preclude using it to settle a property dispute.

      The ONLY way to settle a boundary dispute is to hire a surveyor. Be precise in what you want, you want a boundary line located, you do NOT want a "survey" which is more more complicated and much more expensive.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        So, in other words, if I'm having a property dispute especially one involving the court system, I DO want a survey. When court is involved, the person who's being cheap is the one who tends to lose. Ask all those people who thought they were smart enough to defend themselves in court, or who thought the court-provided lawyer was actually going to do anything.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          So, in other words, if I'm having a property dispute especially one involving the court system, I DO want a survey. When court is involved, the person who's being cheap is the one who tends to lose. Ask all those people who thought they were smart enough to defend themselves in court, or who thought the court-provided lawyer was actually going to do anything.

          You want a surveyor to be involved in ANY property issue, whether it goes to court or not. If you want to build a fence, remove a tree near a lot line, whatever, you should have a thorough survey done to know where your boundary lines are for your property, if one hasn't been done before you bought the property. Surveyors have centimeter or less accuracy GPS units and can tell you EXACTLY where your lot lines (and corners) are within that accuracy. We've never had that level of accuracy before GPS and it ha

    • by Anonymous Coward

      spot on for me in BFE Wisconsin.

    • My experience in the engineering field is that GE parcel boundaries are crap and never used. Even the parcel boundaries obtained from ESRI databases are not trusted. Instead the ESRI boundaries are used as approximate to determine if a property owner may be affected by a project.

      If exact boundaries are needed, a the only way to identify a boundary is by having a surveyor go out and mark the boundaries in question. All other sources are "cartoons", as a local surveyor likes to put it.

      On another note about po

    • by Bobberly ( 1677220 ) on Sunday February 08, 2015 @07:07PM (#49013105)
      As a data custodian for our county cadastral data I can attest that using the data for ANY purpose other than tax assessments is not recommended. Parcel data is meant to track ownership. It is not meant to be an accurate representation of survey data. It never has, and never will. Just because it "looks" ok when you overlay it with an aerial photo doesn't mean it should be used for any determination of property lines. This is why every time you buy a house a professional surveyor comes out and re-checks everything. We all know the house didn't move, but surveyors can't even agree on a the same location of a corner marker. Where do you think all this error goes when you try and do a countywide fabric of parcels? For a kick, ask your county assessor for the parcel line data.. including COGO attributes. Then look in amazement as your 120 foot property line is actually 118.5 feet on the map to make it fit inside of decades of mapping error. I've tried to reach out to Google many times to offer an update of our data to reflect new subdivisions. I never got a response. The product looks pretty and functional until you actually try and do something that matters with it.
      • by Dereck1701 ( 1922824 ) on Sunday February 08, 2015 @09:58PM (#49014135)

        " Then look in amazement as your 120 foot property line is actually 118.5 feet on the map"

        Even surveyors can be off by that much, I've seen surveys in the 80s that when resurveyed with modern equipment the surveyor has to note on his map something to the effect of "Measured: 121.51' Recorded as: 119.2'". That said you are very right using electronic parcel maps for "definitive property boundaries" is completely idiotic. They can be a good reference depending on how they were built but it will be a LONG time (think a century or so) before there is any chance of them being used for property boundary determination.

    • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

      Mine in VA shows up shifted about 3-4 ft. away from the street, and overlapping the neighbor (opposite side) by a similar amount.

    • Every day I go to different locations for work on major and minor roads. I look up Google most nights and apart from recent development work everything is right where it should be. Including boundaries, power poles, storm drain access covers, pits, substations, railings, pram ramps, gutters, condition and width of shoulders. I can even look up power poles and get an idea of fittings and condition. Too bad for you Boo Boo, it's bloody great for me.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 08, 2015 @03:32PM (#49011769)

    Sadly not Linux.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      WINE.

      • by green1 ( 322787 ) on Sunday February 08, 2015 @03:56PM (#49011885)

        As usual though, this requires more than just wine, it also requires tricking google in to thinking you have windows in the first place just to be allowed to download it. If you go to the site with a linux machine it downloads the normal google earth for linux, and doesn't let you download the PC version. (I'm guessing a user agent change would fix this, but it's yet one more hoop you have to jump through that shouldn't be necessary.)

        • DL Link (Score:3, Informative)

          by rea1l1 ( 903073 )
        • by rabbin ( 2700077 ) on Sunday February 08, 2015 @04:08PM (#49011957)
          This installed for me over WINE http://dl.google.com/earth/cli... [google.com]

          However certain things like the search function are not working for me.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            My download click auto-picked linux as the OS.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by ColdWetDog ( 752185 )

        All you Linux people do is complain.

        Sheesh.

    • It says "Mac and PC" (not "Windows PC") - we've been complaining for years that "PC" doesn't mean "Windows PC", looks like Google for once got the message.

      When you click through you do get a "GoogleEarthLinux.bin", or at least, I did. (downloaded on x86_64/Arch Linux/Firefox)

      I haven't tried it yet, so I don't know yet if it actually WORKS (unlike the previous version of "regular" Google Earth for me) but it looks like they are handing out Linux versions.

      • by Dr.Dubious DDQ ( 11968 ) on Sunday February 08, 2015 @04:55PM (#49012211) Homepage
        UPDATE: Oh, I see what you mean. Instead of honestly saying "Huh? Linux? What's that? We've forgotten!", Google is quietly sending Linux users a copy of the previous version (6.0.something) of the "free" Google Earth (that's what's in the "GoogleEarthLinux.bin" file), and appears not to have bothered with Google Earth Pro.

        I knew I shouldn't have put my pitchfork and torch away so quickly. Friggin' Google. As much as I love playing with maps, Google can take a long walk off a short pier - I'm not desperate enough for their "product" to mess around with WINE.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Was there a reason why Google didn't make a Linux port? Their free version exists, but not for Pro? :(

  • I've always wanted to be able to print super detailed gigapixel maps, but not found any up to date tools to do the stitching. It's a pity pro still limits the resolution so much.

  • The Mac OS X version is a unsigned binary. On the newer OS X versions you have to go to System Preferences -> Security & Privacy to allow-it to run.
    Looks like Google was too cheap to shell $99/year for a OS X Developer account and get a developer key to sign a product they asked $399 for.

    • by CraigParticle ( 523952 ) on Sunday February 08, 2015 @05:47PM (#49012467) Homepage

      That is surprising, I agree.

      An alternate suggestion if you want to keep the existing System Preferences: right-click ('ctrl-click') on the binary to bring up the context menu, then select 'Open". This will invoke the same warning, but will also allow you to authenticate -- allowing this binary to run (here and thereafter) without complaining.

    • Getting the OS X Developer account through legal would probably be a nightmare.

      Heck, even reviewing the agreement is difficult.

      1. 1. https://developer.apple.com/io... [apple.com] does not render under Firefox.
      2. 2. For the individual program, you can't look at the agreement without giving them a credit card.
      3. 3. For the corporate program, you have to attest that you can sign agreements for the company before seeing the agreement.
      4. 4. Profit! (Sorry, I always wanted to do that)

      Does the Mac OS License include the onerous sectio

      • by psergiu ( 67614 )

        They already have Apple Developer accounts that they use to publish all those apps in the iOS App Store. So Google Legal is okay with those terms.
        And it's not some unknown developer, it's Google for fsck's sake. I bet if they just email Apple they'll instantly get a key.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I just wasted 2 hours globe trotting with my mouse

  • I posted a few days ago how everybody is after your phone number this to a Facebook article of picking one out of a crowd. While avoiding it all this time, Google Earth Pro requires it.

  • Now, Sketchup Pro, please Google. See, the difference between Sketchup Pro for hundreds of dollars and Sketchup Pro for free is that if it's free, people will use it instead of just using Blender. The only value to Sketchup is that it has a simpler interface. Anything created in it that will find its way into any kind of simulation or electronic entertainment will still have to be touched up in another program. Nobody is going to pay hundreds of dollars just to prototype slightly faster, but the demand
    • Re:And... (Score:4, Informative)

      by caseih ( 160668 ) on Sunday February 08, 2015 @08:36PM (#49013725)

      Sketchup Pro is not a Google product, so begging Google to release it for free is not likely to go anywhere. Now why Trimble bought Sketchup from Google in the first place I'll never know. Setting up Google Earth Pro to be free *before* Google sells it off is probably a good move for users. Too bad they didn't do that with Sketchup before they sold it.

      • Wow, they sold it back in 2012! And the last time I read anything about it was only a few months ago. I still saw conversation about Google buying it. And I bet Trimble is letting it sit around for passive income.

        I'd be very surprised if they sell Google Earth, but you're right. The next owner would need to build on it to start charging again.
      • Correction to my previous post: Trimble is still updating Sketchup. They just released a new version. gogo Twilight Zone effect. That's good news though!
  • by Dereck1701 ( 1922824 ) on Sunday February 08, 2015 @09:42PM (#49014043)

    "Google Earth Pro includes parcel data that definitively defines property boundaries."

    No, Just no.... I work in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and I can GUARANTEE that a vast majority of the property lines displayed in the program do not "definitively defines property boundaries". Some may not be far off, some may not be too bad, most will only be in the ball park and some will be horribly off, the only way to be sure one way or another would be a title search and a survey and even then once in a while things can go wrong. Property description is insanely complicated, in my area the property records go back into the 1840s and technically to be sure someone has to trace and map every sale from now back to then. Since that is extremely time consuming most title companies these days only trace it back 40-60 years and then rely on insurance to pick up the tab if the issue exists further back. Most GIS maps don't try to do ANY of that, they grab the tax records or maps if they exist and digitize (scan them, electronically rubber sheet them to a rough geographic base and then draw some digital lines on top of the scans hand drawn ones) them making your average digital property line map at best 5-50' accurate. Even with organizations that go the extra distance and rebuild the parcel layer off of certified orthophotos (3' accuracy for 90% of surveyed points) you're only improving to about 5-10' accuracy. In a very few rare circumstances you may get some parcels where employees actually went out to properties that happened to be surveyed and then you're probably getting sub-centimeter accuracy for about 0.00000000002% of the parcels.

    • LOL yes exactly this. I also work in GIS, and specifically in this particular field.

      I'll add to everything you just said, plus anyone who has ever used Google Maps, should know that some of their stuff is out of date, some of it very out of date. Parcel data changes all the time. I am willing to bet that whatever Google maps uses is significantly out of date. The data also tends to be pretty expensive also to acquire as its maintenance is also. So anyone that uses this as anything other than to get a genera

  • Shame on Google for including a pre-checked checkbox to download Chrome as part of the package. That's download.com level shady.

    Good or bad, your products need to stand alone when there's nothing whatsoever tying them together other than the downloader.

  • You have been able to get a free license for over a year now. Just sign up for one and select "personal" for the use and you get a free license emailed to you.

    So now they have a generic license that you dont have to request.

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