Google announced on Friday that the $399 Google Earth Pro software was going on sale. How much will you have to pay to get the premium features now?
Friday morning, Google released the following blog explaining the situation.
“Over the last 10 years, businesses, scientists and hobbyists from all over the world have been using Google Earth Pro for everything from planning hikes to placing solar panels on rooftops. Google Earth Pro has all the easy-to-use features and detailed imagery of Google Earth, along with advanced tools that help you measure 3D buildings, print high-resolution images for presentations or reports, and record HD movies of your virtual flights around the world.
“Starting today, even more people will be able to access Google Earth Pro: we’re making it available for free. To see what Earth Pro can do for you—or to just have fun flying around the world—grab a free key and download Earth Pro today. If you’re an existing user, your key will continue to work with no changes required.”
Google Earth Pro offers more than just the features mentioned above. You can also view traffic data and demographic layers, use GIS data, and measure area, radius and ground circumference, among other things.
With the program now free, there’s only a two step process consumers need to go through in order to gain access. First, you need a free key from Google. You can get that key: here. Next you will need to download the program. You can download Google Earth Pro: here.
You have to sign up for a Google Earth Pro account, which does require giving personal information to the company. The links above came directly from the Google site. Please remember not to give any information out to unknown or untrustworthy sites.
Although the program is now free, you still need to worry about whether or not your computer can handle it.
According to TechnoBuffalo, “Google recommends at least a Pentium 4 processor clocked at 2.4GHz, 2GB of free hard drive space, at least 1GB of RAM and Windows 7 or Windows 8, which should easily cover most folks. For Mac users, Google recommends similar requirements and at least Mac OS X 10.6.8 or newer.”
Why the change?
PC Magazine took a guess that the price change might indicate something more in depth to come, “perhaps Google plans to use some of Google Earth’s capabilities in a larger way, like some kind of virtual reality-based announcement that will allow people to soar around the world in an even more realistic fashion.”
[ Image courtesy of Google Earth Pro ]