Release notes

See what's new in Google Earth by reading the release notes below.

Earth version 7.1.5.1557

Issues fixed in this release Google Earth Client

  • The Google account sign-in process was updated from OAuth 1.0 to OAuth 2.0, given the deprecation of Oauth 1.0. Users of all previous versions of Earth will not be able to sign-in with their Google accounts after May 30th, 2015.
  • Fixes issues with the auto-update process on Mac OS X.
Earth version 7.1.4.1529

Issues fixed in this release Google Earth Client

Minor update of all Earth desktop versions.

  • New Windows installer: MSIs are now created using WiX instead of InstallShield.
  • New Mac installer: new installations and first time auto-updates to 7.1.4+ may require an admin password.
  • Enterprise version not longer connects to Google Oauth servers at startup.
  • Minor security fixes
  • Logo refresh (now with capital 'E' in Earth)
Earth version 7.1.2.2041

Issues fixed in this release Google Earth Client

  • The “Enable Controller” option in user preferences is now turned off by default.  This prevents red directional arrows from displaying as a result of uncalibrated joysticks and other controllers being connected to Earth at startup.
  • For enhanced security, “Use HTTPS for Google connections” is now toggled on by default.
  • We fixed a bug whereby the cache size rose above user-specified limits.
  • We fixed a crash resulting from searching on some Windows machines.
  • We updated the LEAP API to version 1.0.8.
  • We reduced LEAP controller sensitivity to user hand motions.  This enables a smoother flight and greater control over your flight path when using a LEAP.
Earth version 7.1.1.1888

Issues fixed in this release Google Earth Client

  • We updated the LEAP API to version 1.0.8 and fixed a crash affecting a portion of users running Earth on Windows XP. If you want to use a LEAP device with Google Earth, ensure you are running LEAP driver version 1.0.8 + from the LEAP Motion website.
  • The "Enable Controller" option is now default on. If you have an uncalibrated external controller (such as a gaming joystick) connected to your computer, this could result in the Earth spinning with arrows displaying to signify movement.  As a workaround, we suggest the following: 
    1. Turning off "Enable Controller" in the "Navigation" tab of Options/Preferences 
    2. Unplugging your external controller, or
    3. Recalibrating your external controller
Earth version 7.1.1.1871

Issues fixed in this release Google Earth Client

  • We have included another fix for the unified_cache_leveldb_leveldb2 directory filling beyond specified cache limits for some Windows and Macintosh users.
  • Imagery no longer stays blurry upon zooming in when the cache is full.
  • Certain NVIDIA cards, notably the GeForce 6600, 6800 and 7950, no longer suffer corrupted text or navigation controls in DirectX mode.
  • Font and tilt settings now stick between sessions.
  • Balloon opens now display when recording tours.
  • We have included UI improvements to Flight Simulator.
  • When printing, the scale legend now displays correct distances.
  • Collada models now display with uncorrupted textures.
  • Polygons and image overlays now display correctly across the Antimeridian.
  • We fixed an issue with certain GPU - driver combinations whereby no imagery displayed in the client.
  • The time slider in Sun and Historical Imagery features now displays the correct Daylight Savings time.
  • Performance and stability improvements.
  • [Pro] Artifact .avi files are no longer created when rendering movies from tours on Windows. [Pro] Calculating a Viewshed in parts of the southern hemisphere no longer displays an error.
  • [Pro] The scale legend in the print flow no longer disappears when view is tilted, nor does it change between high-, medium- and low-quality prints

Known issues

  • On certain Radeon GPUs, specifically the X1600, SketchUp Buildings appear corrupted when Atmosphere is on. As a workaround, enable 3D Imagery in 3D View > Terrain or turn off Atmosphere.
  • Elevation Profile displays as blank on Mac machines running certain NVIDIA GeForce GPUs.
  • On Macintosh OSs, the Google Earth Plugin will not install in Firefox while Firefox is running. As a workaround, install the Plugin when Firefox is closed. Note that this bug does not affect updating the Plugin, only the first installation.
  • Audio recorded in tours does not play across platforms. As a workaround, record a tour on the OS that you intend to use while playing the tour.
  • Tours stop recording when there is no 3D View movement during recording.
  • For users running Intel 965 Express Chipsets on Windows XP and Windows Vista, Earth will appear pixelated when run in OpenGL mode. As a workaround, run Earth in DirectX mode.
  • [Pro] Print style options are broken when Atmosphere is off. To enable these options, ensure that Atmosphere is on.
  • [Pro] A Viewshed warning dialog appears for placemarks at ≤2m and a high tilt.
  • [Pro] After computing a Viewshed Earth areas outside the Viewshed zone suffer corruption. Exiting the Viewshed will correct the display of these areas.
Earth version 7.1.1.1580

New features in Google Earth Pro

  • Ability to create rich, annotated images from print and save
  • Redesigned print flow
  • Viewshed/Line of Sight analysis tool from a placemark

New features in Google Earth and Google Earth Pro

  • Support for LEAP Motion device
  • Enhanced starfield
  • Google Feedback tool integration
  • Redesigned balloons

Issues fixed in this release

Google Earth Client

  • Polygons and image overlays display over the international dateline
  • Performance improvements in Movie Maker and in viewing 3D imagery areas
  • Ocean surface displays across Mac clients with Intel GPUs
  • Full Map names display in Google Maps Engine maps
  • Earth client now supports NTLM authentication for a PAC file
  • Fixed Incorrect "Z-order" in rendering overlapped vector layers

Known issues

  • Plugin fails to initialize on Internet Explorer 10 and 11. As a workaround, we suggest enabling Compatibility View.
  • Elevation profiles display as blank on certain Mac configurations.
  • The Google Earth Plugin will not install while the Firefox browser is running. As a workaround, install the Google Earth Plugin while the browser is closed.
Earth version 7.0.3.8542

Issues fixed in this release

Google Earth Client

  • We have put in a fix for the unified_cache_leveldb_leveldb2 directory filling beyond specified cache limits for some Windows users.
  • We now handle SSL certificate revocation errors appropriately.
  • Lighting of Diorama buildings in OGL now appears correctly.
  • Balloons no longer flicker while playing tours.
  • We have improved the appearance of image and polygon overlays for users running some families of Radeon GPUs.
  • We have included stability improvements for users running GeForce 6xxx and 7xxx cards.
  • We have included stability improvements for users running Earth for extended periods of time.
  • Imagery now displays for Linux users running specific families of Intel GPUs.

Google Earth Plugin

  • Placemark and linestring quality no longer diminishes in the Plugin with browser refresh.

Known issues

  • Water surfaces around coastlines will flicker then resolve upon zoom.
  • [Pro/Enterprise] Rendering of movies, especially movies that show 3D imagery at a tilt, is very slow. As a workaround, we recommend using Google Earth 6.2.2.6613 for movies that require such a perspective.
Earth version 7.0.2

What’s new in Google Earth 7.0.2 release?

  • We have included substantial performance improvements to this build. You should see scenes load more rapidly than in our previous public Beta release.
  • We have included minor tweaks to the Tour Guide UI.

Issues fixed in this release

Google Earth Client

  • We fixed the bug that prevented users from recording movies from saved tours.
  • Wikipedia text displays in tours.
  • Gray buildings and extruded polygons have improved lighting effects.
  • Imagery holes no longer appear after sun has been turned on in DirectX on certain hardware configurations.
  • Icons align correctly upon installation of .dmg.

Known issues in Google Earth 7 OOB

  • When run in DirectX mode on certain Radeon graphics cards on Windows, SketchUp models and extruded polygons will appear gray. To work around this issue, run Earth in OpenGL mode.
  • When run in OpenGL mode on certain Intel graphics cards, SketchUp models and extruded polygons will appear gray. To work around this issue, run Earth in DirectX mode.
  • Clamped Polygons and Image Overlays display multiple instances in 3D cities on certain hardware configurations.
  • KML overlays don't render correctly in 3D cities in DX on certain hardware configurations.
  • Water surfaces around coastlines will flicker then resolve upon zoom.
  • Placemark and linestring quality diminishes in the Plugin with browser refresh. To workaround, zoom closely into the KML you want to view.
  • Terrain and Water Surface oddities exist at the antimeridian.
Earth version 7.0
  • Support for 3D imagery data: 3D data provides a comprehensive representation of metropolitan environments around the world. 3D imagery is currently available in the these areas.
  • Tour Guide mechanism in the client: The new tour guide allows you to explore interesting places around the world, even if you don’t know to search for them. As you move, thumbnails of pre-created tours and points of interest will dynamically update with interesting locations in your current view. Read more.
  • Support for terrain data accessed via Google Maps Engine
  • Zooming in now tilts at a higher elevation in order to showcase 3D imagery
  • A unified graphical rendering pipeline
  • Redesigned startup tips and status bar

Issues fixed in this release

Google Earth Client

  • Fixed a Pro and Enterprise bug whereby cached login data disappeared after upgrading to Mac OS 10.8+.
  • Sound can now be recorded from a microphone when producing a tour.
  • Improved Atmosphere feature for users on certain NVIDIA GeForce cards.
  • Polygons clamped to seafloor now display correctly.

Known issues in Google Earth 7

  • PC Enterprise users will note flashing historical imagery when going to the minimum date of the time slider in a handful of areas around the world. To workaround, use 6.2 for Enterprise.
  • Terrain, imagery and polygons that overlap the antemeridian occasionally appear broken.
  • This build includes changes to shaders that strain older graphics cards. Please see system requirements for updated lists of recommended hardware.
Earth version 6.2

New features in this release

  • Enhanced search, including support for:
    • Clearer local business and directions search results. These now appear in full HTML in the left hand panel.
    • Improved quality thresholds on search results.
    • Walking directions, biking directions, and transit search.
    • Search layers in local business searches. In a local business search, you now see all relevant results in the 3D view, 10 results in the search panel.
    • Suggest in search. As you type a search query, search suggestions appear in a drop-down menu.
    • Loading search results with one click, not two.
  • Improved imagery rendering, including:
    • Google Earth imagery is significantly more seamless, especially at higher altitudes
    • Fade-in animation for imagery as it is fetched.
    • Anisotropic filtering by default.
    • Improved level of detail calculation for imagery tiles.
  • Unified network stack. Google Earth now uses the same network stack for imagery, vector content, balloon content and embedded browser content. This will avoid situations where imagery loads but balloon content does not display under certain proxy settings.
  • Ability to share screenshots with your Google+ circles from within the Google Earth client.
  • Unified Google login mechanism in the client.
  • Improved performance with 3D buildings.

Issues fixed in this release

Google Earth Client

  • Fixed an issue where ground overlays without the tag did not render rectangles using the fill color. KML ground overlays where images fail to load will now draw rectangles using a default or user-specified fill color.
  • Added the ability to create balloon HTML for locally saved images using the “Add image” button.
  • Fixed proxy accessibility issues for the Google Earth Plug-in and Client.
  • Added the ability to update network links in parallel on synchronous updates.

Google Earth Browser Plug-in and API

  • Fixed an issue where the Google Earth Browser Plug-in generated an “ATL 10.0” error while running on Internet Explorer versions 8 and 9.
  • Fixed an issue where Google Earth Browser Plug-in wouldn’t resize on Firefox version 4 and above on Mac.
  • Fixed an issue where the “-” key was not working on Google Earth Plug-in on Mac.
  • Fixed an issue where the AJAX loader returned false for isSupported() on 64-bit browsers that are not supported.
  • Fixed the rendering order of imagery layers added through side databases.
  • Fixed an issue where 3D buildings did not update with changes in view when terrain is not visible.

Known issues in Google Earth 6.2

  • New search pages and screenshot sharing pages are not fully translated into all languages.
  • Text in the Google login box is clipped at the bottom.
  • Some instability and growth in memory usage is seen in long running or looping tours and while making movies from long tours.
Earth version 6.1

New in n Google Earth Pro:

  • Google Earth Pro has improved support for printing from the client. Changes include a legend with a North indicator and scale, controls for print/paper size, and improved performance.
  • Google Earth Pro has improved the experience of making movies by simplifying the user interface and improving performance in certain configurations.
  • Importing data files in Google Earth Pro is now easier with the ability to edit shared balloon style for folders and to increase the import categorization limit from 8 to 64.
  • Google Earth Pro now allows you to view an elevation profile while measuring.

In Google Earth (Consumer and Pro version):

  • Improved the robustness of network access by providing better support for Proxy and SSL certs. This will fix issues users have experienced of not being able to see balloon content or embedded browser content.
  • Improved the resolution seen in elevation profiles for lines and tracks.
  • Added the ability to sort “My Places,” and improved the user interface to be able find points across my places.
  • There were several improvements to Street View in Google Earth. We added the ability to zoom into a Street View photo by using a zoom slider. Street View in Earth feels more immersive now due to wider field of view. It is now faster and smoother to use. We made several small tweaks to the user interface including adding a way to navigate floors when you are indoors and there are multiple floors available in Street View.
  • Fixed bugs related to missing road labels in cases where roads were curvy or zoomed into.

In Google Earth API for browser plugins:

  • Added API for working with tours.

Fixed bugs and product changes:

  • To conform more closely with the OGC KML 2.2 standard, we've made the parsing of the <coordinates> tag more strict in version 6.1. Spaces must only be used to separate the (longitude,latitude,altitude) triplets which specify the coordinates of a single point. It is invalid to add spaces between individual coordinates. We understand that previous versions of the client were more lenient, so if your KML files contain spaces beween coordinates in coordinate triplets, an easy workaround is to remove all whitespace located immediately before or after commas inside a <coordinates> tag.
  • Several performance improvements that would allow smoother experience in specific computer configurations.
  • Fixed 'Restrict to View' functionality during a shapefile import in Google Earth Pro.
  • Fixed an issue where Google Earth would sometimes save incorrect ordering of elements in KML.
  • Added field of view recording to tours and ability to play back those changes.
  • Fixed an issue where the icon heading did not work in Google Earth API.
  • Changes to reduce occurrences of missing desktop icon and shortcut menu items on an update.
  • Sped up overlay polygon rendering in OpenGL mode.
  • Fixed loading of kmz files when the first file at the root level was image file.
  • Upgraded GDAL support to 1.7.0 and fixed issues with importing .tab files in Google Earth Pro.
  • Fixed the discrepancy caused in measurements due to multiple radii of Earth used inside Google Earth.
  • Fixed an issue where placemarks created with UTM coordinates did not move when edited.
  • Fixed an issue when screen overlays disappeared in a print-out.
Earth version 6.0.2

Issues Fixed with Desktop Client:

  • Fixed a problem where we were over fetching certain kml layer data and running into issuing of using large amounts of memory and slowness during zooming in.
  • Fixed an issue of ruler tool disappearing. In 6.0 beta, when measuring using the path tool, if you break to add a place-mark then you go back to the path and click "save" the path and ruler tool disappears all together.
  • Fixed an issue with incorrectly measuring long distances. Improved navigation in Street View inside buildings.
  • Fixed a crash with elevation profile if there was empty gx:value node in KML.
  • Optimized amount of terrain and imagery data fetched while viewing photo overlays.
  • Fixed an occasional crash while viewing 3D buildings. Fixed broken fly-to links within local kml files.
  • Fixed an issue where new place-marks added were with absolute altitude instead of being clamped to ground.
  • Fixed an issue where the title for panoramio pictures no longer appeared when hovering over panoramio icons with your mouse if scale legend was enabled.
  • Fixed an issue when there was occasionally a missing wall in 3D buildings.
  • Optimized amount of data fetched in Street View.
  • Fixed an issue where tilt by holding “shift” and moving the scroll wheel only worked in one direction on Mac.

Issues Fixed in Earth Browser Plug-in:

  • Fixed a crash when getNormalStyleUrl was called on a StyleMap referencing a non-existent Style.
  • Fixed some issues in using plug-in on https sites.
  • Fixed functionality of disabling ground level navigation through API.
Earth version 6.0B

New features in Google Earth 6

  • Integrated Street View: In Google Earth 6, the Street View experience is now fully integrated. You can enter Street View either by dropping pegman in navigation controls or by zooming in all the way to ground level on places that have Street View.
  • 3D Trees:Google Earth now has trees. You can enable trees by turning on the check-box next to the Trees layer under the 3D buildings layer folder. You can see trees in several places, and we will add trees to more places over time.
  • Easy to use historical imagery:When you fly to an area where historical imagery is available, the date of the oldest imagery will appear in the status bar at the bottom of the screen. If you click on this date, you’ll instantly be taken back in time to view imagery from that time period.
  • Ground-level navigation: In Google Earth 6, in addition to flying around features, you can now walk on the ground to explore either 3D buildings and trees or Street View imagery.
  • 3D Measurements in Google Earth Pro:In addition to measuring distances and areas on the ground, you can now measure heights and widths of 3D building and distances from buildings to the ground.

Other changes in Google Earth 6

  • Tour Recorder Improvements:With Google Earth 6, the tour recording feature has been improved in several ways. The tour recorder now incorporates the activation of Sunlight, Street View, and Historical Imagery modes into the recorded tour. Additionally, the quality of the recording has been significantly improved, including better motion fidelity and better synchronization with sound recording.
  • Earth on PowerPC Mac:We are discontinuing support for Google Earth builds that work on PowerPC Macs. Users of PowerPC macs can still use the Google Earth 5.2 version.
  • Earth on OS X 10.4:We are discontinuing support for Google Earth builds that work on 10.4 version of Mac OS X. Users of this version of Mac OS X can still use Google Earth 5.2 version.
  • Earth on Windows 2000:We are discontinuing support for Google Earth builds that work on Windows 2000. Users of Windows 2000 can still use the Google Earth 5.2 version.
  • Linux Builds:Google Earth Linux binaries are now based on the Linux Standard Base. This improves the compatibility of Google Earth on different Linux distributions, but requires users to have Linux Standard Base installed on their system. If your Linux system does not have LSB, please install it using apt, yum, smart or up2date. As a side effect of moving to LSB, joysticks are currently unsupported.

Issues Fixed

  • Addressed issues related to slow internal browser and balloon performance
  • Addressed issues related to broken images in balloons seen in Earth 5.2.
  • Linux now handles KML in locales where the radix separator isn’t “.”.
  • Linux fixes for Flash-induced crashes.

Google Earth Plug-in and API Changes

  • Updated API version 1.007
  • New class KmlViewerOptions, to set global render state (Historical Imagery, StreetView, and Sun)
  • Added ability to enable/disable street view in GENavigationControl
  • Added ability to enable/disable automatic transition to ground level view in GEOptions
  • Added ability to enable/disable 3d tree rendering through new layer LAYER_TREES
  • Added altitudeOffset functionality to KmlLinearRing and KmlLineRing. This allows ability to set altitude for all vertices through a single function call.
  • Added ability to enable/disable building selection through mouse input in GEOptions
  • Added ability to enable/disable building highlight through mouse input in GEOptions
  • Added copyAsLookAt() and copyAsCamera() conversion to KmlAbstractView
  • Improved performance on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
Earth version 5.2 Out of Beta

New features in Google Earth 5.2 Out of Beta:

  • Visualization of Rain/Snow when the weather layer is enabled in the Google Earth client.

Issues fixed in Google Earth 5.2 Out of Beta:

  • Fixed polygon overlay rendering issues in the Google Earth Browser Plug-in as well as the Google Earth Client when using Direct X rendering mode.
  • Improved overall stability by fixing multiple crashes seen since beta release.
  • Drawing order of ground overlays and polygons has been restored to behavior similar to versions 5.1 and 5.0.
  • Multiple bugs related to the GPS functionality with different devices have been fixed.
  • Fixed a bug related to mouse navigation not working when using the Ruler tool.
  • Panoramic photos in 360 cities layer (and similar other panoramic photos) were tilted with beta version. This bug has been fixed.
  • Issues seen with lines and polygons in high resolution image saving and printing for Google Earth Pro version have been fixed.
  • Improved start-up time for the Internal Browser.
  • Fixed text scale in 3D view for the Movie Maker tool in Google Earth Pro.
Earth version 5.2
New Features in Google Earth 5.2
  • Improved embedded browser functionality: Better integration of embedded browser with Google Earth Application.
  • Track and Multitrack in Google Earth: A track allows you to create one visible object in Google Earth (either a Point icon or a Model) that moves over time between multiple positions. Using the time slider, you can animate position and orientation of an object and show a line tracing the path. A multitrack is a collection of tracks. You can create Track and Multitrack by authoring KML documents or by importing your GPS data (from a number of GPS receivers or file formats such as GPX) into Google Earth.
  • Elevation Profile in Google Earth: You can see elevation profile of a line-string or track in Google Earth. It plots the elevation profile, speed, and associated extended data (for example, heart rate) in a KML file.
  • Added file import types: NMEA (.log and .nmea), Garmin GDB, Garmin Training Center, and Ozi Explorer files can now all be read. Garmin fitness extensions are now read from GPX. Extended data for Elevation Profile and Track is handled when available.
New Features available in Google Earth Pro 5.2
In addition to features present in Google Earth Consumer version, Google Earth Pro version has support for the following additional features.
  • Additional Layers in Google Earth Pro:
    1. US Demographics: Provided by Nielsen Claritas, shows United States Census Tract Data, including income, age, ethnicity, household size, marital status and more for 2010, as well as a projection for 2015.
    2. US Parcel Data: Provided by DataQuick, shows critical parcel and building information for commercial and residential real estate within the United States.
    3. US DailyTraffic Counts: Provided by Market Planning Solutions Inc., shows the concentration of automobile traffic for different areas within the United States.
  • Creation of Efficient Regionated KML for vectors and images: You can now create hierarchical, vector data and image overlays in Google Earth Pro.
  • Improvements to Draw and Measure tools: Changes make it easier to measure and draw. You can also see measurements by selecting properties of an object now.
  • General Improvements to importing Spreadsheet Data & Applying Style Templates
  • Other Changes include:
    • Improved polygon rendering.
    • Bug fixes for polygons and image overlays spanning date-line/anti-meridian.
    • Bug fixes to allow getting closer to 3D models.
    • Bug fixes for anti-aliased lines and points in Google Earth.
    • Improved stability and memory consumption by Google Earth Application.
    • Minor enhancements to Time UI in Google Earth Application.
    • New icons for Pro and EC versions of Google Earth.
    • Reduced aliasing/shimmer in Historical imagery mode.
    • For Consumer and Pro version, moved Terrain setting to options menu from layers panel.
    • Improved Earth Gallery integration in application and changed Add Content Button to Earth Gallery button on layers panel.
    • Added support for ZH-HK language.
    • Added support for MGRS coordinate system.
    • Added support for editing coordinates in UTM.
    Known Issues and Workarounds
    In Google Earth Pro, while using movie-making with high resolutions you could run into issues of text and view being distorted in OpenGL mode. We are fixing this issue. If you run into this issue, there are three workarounds
    • Use window size such that 3D view is larger than resolution of movie being recorded.
    • Use window size such that both vertical and horizontal size of 3D window is smaller than resolution needed.
    • If you are using windows platform, you can use DirectX mode.
    Changes for Google Earth Plug-in 5.2
    • Enhanced Time support:
      • ability to toggle Historical imagery in Google Earth Plug-in (#235)
      • ability to create timestamps and timespans (#177).
      • ability to toggle time UI (#202)
      • ability to set plug-in’s clock rate. (#208, #143, #381, #419, #396)
      • ability to set the plug-in’s virtual time/clock (#104)
      • Improved accessors:
        • getUrl
        • getComputedStyle (#392)
        • getElementbyUrl
        • getElementbyId (fixed #60)
        • getElementbyType
        • getElementsByStyleUrl
        • Access to Balloon Content
        • Ability to get balloon content using getBalloonDescription, getBalloonHtml, and getBalloonHtmlUnsafe (#16) (#97).
Earth version 5.100B 
Release Notes for 5.100B This release is a maintenance release which fixes the following bugs:
  • fixes to icon style heading
  • fixed labels in Pro hi-res printing
  • honor default layer visibility for enterprise databases
  • getKML now allows fetching of arbitrarily long strings of KML (Google Earth API)
  • added https support for enterprise API (Google Earth API)
  • fixed region fade-extent bug as reported here:

    http://http://code.google.com/p/earth-api-samples/issues/detail?id=329

  • fixed issue with placemarks flashing in region-based network links as reported here:

    http://code.google.com/p/kml-samples/issues/detail?id=310

  • fixed crash-on-exit bug
  • PhotoOverlay now derived from kmlOverlay instead of kmlFeature (kmlPhotoOverlay.getColor() is now working) (Google Earth API)

Additionally, with this release the following changes have been made:
  • removal of "beta" label from Google Earth clients
  • bundling of Google Earth browser plug-in with Mac installer
  • added Intel-only Mac installer package
Earth version 5.1

Release Notes for Google Earth 5.1

Google Earth 5.1 release is mostly a performance and bug fix release upgrade over Google Earth 5.0. Salient changes include:
  • Improved Startup Time. The improvement is most noticeable when users launch the Earth application multiple times.
  • Improved overall rendering performance. Changes include faster atmosphere rendering and using compressed textures whenever possible.
  • Improved Road rendering Performance: Frame rate at places with dense road networks is three times faster than in previous releases.
  • Improved memory utilization in the application.
  • Significantly smoother frame-rate and less stuttering in the application compared to previous releases.
  • Improved performance with large region based network link KML documents. Some of large KML documents are now processed and rendered at more than twice the speed of earlier releases.
  • Improved KML document handling performance. Large regionated KML Image overlays are up to 80% faster than previous releases.
  • Support for KML hint = moon or mars to switch to moon or mars based on kml document.
  • Availability of one installer that installs both the Google Earth application and browser plugin.
  • Desktop Application now works on Windows 7.
  • Users can set the memory cache size up to 1024 MB now.
Release notes for Google Earth Browser Plugin 5.1
All of the notes for the Google Earth Application apply to browser plugin version. Additional changes include:
  • API additions: Please refer to API documentation for details.
    • KmlListStyle::listItemType and KmlListeItemTypeEnum
    • google.earth.executeBatch(fn)
    • GETourPlayer::get/setCurrentTime
    • GETourPlayer::getDuration
    • GESchemaObject::release()
    • Experimental feature KmlFeature::get/setOpacity
  • Improved performance for Javascript application by allocating time for it in Google Earth.
  • One installer available that installs both desktop application and browser plugin.
For more information about API and plugin release notes, please seehttp://code.google.com/apis/earth/documentation/releasenotes.html
Earth version 5.0.1 
Release notes for Google Earth 5.0.1
  • 3D Buildings: OpenGL mode performance is improved. Buildings are streamed in smoother, and low memory situations are handled better.
  • Tours: Make flyto and tour paths smoother by fixing several cases for jitters and unexpected jumps in camera path. Improve tour creation so that the tour path has smooth interpolation. On pause, open balloons are left open instead of closing them. Support generating tours from nested folders of placemarks.
  • Collada Models: Enhance collada model handling to work when Multiple resources associated with same model. Improve handling of animated textures on the models.
  • Pro Movie Maker: Fix movie maker to work well in presence of animated water surface. Fix holes seen in high resolution movies. Fix bugs in creating large AVI movies. Fix a crash while recording movies. Fixed high resolution movie creation in cases where it would distort view.
  • Fix installation failure on 64 bit linux machines related to linking against wrong version of libssl.
  • Improved culling of objects near poles.
  • Fix the case where Earth kept continuously updating after a tour was finished.
  • Fix handling of drag and drop in left menu between folders.
  • Remove occasional spurious scrollbars in balloons.
  • Fix holes in high resolution movies and printing. Fix tears in high resolution image save and print when animated water was in view.
  • Fix a crash in switching to Mars from photo view.
  • Fix Mars atmosphere for some graphics cards so that it shows up with red color instead of blue now.
  • Show appropriate historical imagery tickmarks when zoomed way in.
  • Fix cases that let sound continue playing even after a balloon was closed or tour was paused.
  • Fix text clustering when eye is below water.
  • Fix a crash on shutdown.
  • Fix issues with handling altitude modes in <Camera> tags below and above water.
Earth version 5.0 
Google Earth 5.0 Release Notes New to Google Earth 5.0 and later:
  • Support for displaying underwater terrain, water surface and underwater 3D models.
  • Support for historical imagery including new UI element to allow selection of historical imagery assets.
  • New touring feature that allows a tour or presentation to be recorded and played back. It also allows sound recording and playback.
  • Support for full HTML, Javascript and iframes in balloons shown in Earth.
  • Support for Mars imagery/terrain/layers through drop-down menu for sky and planets.
  • Support for 15 new languages, for a total of 41 total languages.
  • New unified user interface for time in Earth, supporting sunlight, time-based KML, and historical imagery.
  • Redesigned user interface icons and splash screen.
  • Support for opening description balloons by clicking on lines and polygons.
  • Support for arbitrary corner positions for ground overlays
  • 3D buildings enabled by default on capable machines.
  • Full scene anti-aliaising in OpenGL mode on Windows systems.
  • GPS device track import (46 new devices) and real-time tracking now in free version. You can find more information at http://www.earth.google.com/userguide/v4/ug_gps.html
  • More prominent bouncing of labels for KML content.
  • Separate installers targetted for installing for All users or single user on Windows.
Improvements in Google Earth 5.0:
  • Faster start-up time.
  • Earth honors cache settings more rigorously.
  • Faster processing of KML files.
  • Significant performance improvements for 3D buildings in DirectX mode.
  • Enhanced support for anisotropic filtering.
  • Improved level of detail computation for better performance and quality.
  • Use OGC standard KML name when saving KML files.
  • Support for installers for users with non-administrative priviledges on Vista.
  • Improved performace for regionated KML files.
  • Improved performance in Pro version printing images, saving images and capturing movies.
  • Added HD view / output sizes.
Known Issues in Google Earth 5.0:
  • In low memory situations, 3D buildings may not get displayed on Earth. Some of the workarounds include increasing cache size from options menu, restoring defaults from options menu, restarting application and clearing memory cache.
  • On some windows systems, sound recording may not work. In this case, you can fix it by installing Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package (x86).
  • For KML content, balloon formatting may be different as compared to previous versions and an unnecessary horizontal scroll bar may show up.
  • Switching to sky from Mars does not change the search box to do sky search. As a workaround, you would need to switch to Earth and switch back to sky.
  • Sometimes, overlays drawn on ocean surface may also get drawn on the underwater terrain.
  • Missing images in balloons may cause balloons to flicker.
  • In KMZ files with network links, styles from a link do not always override styles from parent file.
  • KML files saved from client have unnecessary extra namespace declaration.
  • Using a "fly to" (by double clicking a place mark) when recording a tour might lead into a jitters in recording.