Have you tried out the free product from Google, Google Earth? Holiday tourists will find the free Google Earth software to be beneficial from an educational perspective. Users can visit any place on Earth virtually, and even space. Thus, it is the best tool to provide virtual presentation in classes.
Aside from an educational tool, It can also be used for personal use. Like Google Maps where users can search for restaurants, schools, and parks. Users can also get driving directions, and play around with all the 3D graphics. Tilt them. Rotate them.
If you can’t wait to experience the cool featues of Google Earth, you’ll be glad to know there are only 2 steps to follow to get Google Earth free download. But before you can do so, check your computer to see if you meet the minimum hardware specifications for it. You will need:
- Operating System: Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Vista
- CPU: Pentium 3, 500Mhz
- System Memory (RAM): 256MB
- Hard Disk: 400MB free space
- Network Speed: 128 Kbits/sec
- Graphics Card: 3D-capable with 16MB of VRAM
- Screen: 1024×768, “16-bit High Color” – DirectX 9 (to run in Direct X mode)
But for the best performance of the Google Earth software, it is recommended that you have these hardware specifications:
- Operating System: Windows XP or Windows Vista
- CPU: Pentium 4 2.4GHz+ or AMD 2400xp+
- System Memory (RAM): 512MB
- Hard Disk: 2GB free space
- Network Speed: 768 Kbits/sec
- Graphics Card: 3D-capable with 32MB of VRAM
- Screen: 1280×1024, “32-bit True Color”
The Google Earth free version and Google Earth Pro (another version) have the same installer. You may opt for an upgrade to Google Earth Pro if you use the Help Menu. The Google Earth Pro version is for commercial use and has certain features that Google Earth free version does not have. It costs $400 which is a subscription based annual fee. You can see the comparison chart here.
The Pro version may not be used on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98SE, and Windows ME. Even “64-bit operating systems are not currently supported including Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 and all 64-bit versions of Microsoft Vista.”
Still, this product may be used with Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) though it demands at least 1024×768 pixels of screen size. Clamped filled polygons will necessitate True Color resolution (32 bits) as well as an appropriate graphics card. Without these, they will appear only as outlines.
As far as the optimum performance and visual quality of Google Earth is concerned, expect to use the default OpenGL graphics rendering engine.
If you turn to the Preferences panel, you can choose Google Earth.com’s DirectX version. Should problems crop up during startup, you may opt to visit Start Menu to adjust it. This version is appropriate for laptops and older computers which cannot accommodate the default OpenGL version. The DirectX version needs to be used with DirectX 8.1 or more advanced versions.
You will find Google Earth to be quite advantageous (particularly when combined with Google Maps and Google Local.) Definitely a must-have product.