Google Earth 6.2 seamlessly stitches over mismatched patchwork

Unsightly mosaic artifacts no longer mar Google Earth's high-altitude views. But for an even more singular look at the planet, check Flickr's latest NASA contribution.

Google Earth 6.2 smooths over visually distracting patchworks, left, for a more realistic view of the planet.

Google has released Google Earth 6.2 to smooth over earlier versions' unsightly patchwork caused by stitching together widely varying satellite photographs.

The result is a more realistic and less distracting (though still optimistically cloudless) view of the planet. Update: It turns out that by turning on the weather layer, you can dispel Google Earth's sunny optimism and see if it's really cloudy by showing live weather data.

Google Earth offers a terrific interactive view of the planet, complete with 3D buildings in some parts of the world. But I have to say, though, that I was more excited this week by a different digital view of Earth: NASA's Blue Marble shot posted on Flickr. It's a very high-resolution shot taken by NASA's Suomi NPP satellite designed to gather data for short-term weather forecasts and long-term climage-change study.

Meanwhile, back on Google Earth, other changes include the inevitable Google+ integration, in this case so people can post snapshots of various places to their Google social-network accounts, according to a blog post about the software.

And Google Earth 6.2 search gets Google Maps' autocompletion and now shows more than 10 results. Also new is navigation directions for bicycling, walking, and public transit.

NASA's Suomi NPP satellite took this high-resolution Blue Marble photo of Earth.
NASA's Suomi NPP satellite took this high-resolution Blue Marble photo of Earth. NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring