Google Earth, announced on Tuesday, uses technology from the company's Web site., a satellite mapping service it bought . The software for the service can be downloaded free from the search giant's
"Google Earth utilizes broadband streaming technology and 3D graphics, much like a videogame, enabling users to interactively explore the world--either their own neighborhood or the far corners of the globe," John Hanke, Keyhole at Google general manager, said in a statement.
Search rivals have been launching new mapping services and other tools in an effort to grab more market share in the lucrative search industry.last week began testing a service that includes satellite imagery. Amazon.com's A9.com unit has paired local information with digital photos of U.S. businesses in several cities.
Google said that an advanced version of Google Earth, with features such as GPS (Global Positioning System) compatibility and annotation is available for $20 a year. A commercial version that offers high-resolution printing and other professional tools will sell for $400 a year, the company said.