X

Google Earth browser plug-in arrives for Mac

Web sites that feature the built-in version of Google Earth now can support Mac OS X users--or at least those who download a 47MB plug-in.

Stephen Shankland Former Principal Writer
Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
Expertise Processors | Semiconductors | Web browsers | Quantum computing | Supercomputers | AI | 3D printing | Drones | Computer science | Physics | Programming | Materials science | USB | UWB | Android | Digital photography | Science Credentials
  • Shankland covered the tech industry for more than 25 years and was a science writer for five years before that. He has deep expertise in microprocessors, digital photography, computer hardware and software, internet standards, web technology, and more.
Stephen Shankland

Google Earth on MacBook
Google Earth now works as a Safari or Firefox plug-in on Mac OS X. Google

Google has released a Mac OS X version of a plug-in that lets people use its Google Earth software as a browser plug-in.

The move means a smaller but significant crowd can rely on Web pages that employ the sophisticated aerial viewing options the software provides. But Mac fans should brace themselves for a 47MB download from the Google Earth API page.

The size is large because Google provided a universal binary file that runs on both PowerPC-based and Intel-based Macs, a Google representative said in a forum posting about the availability of the Mac version. "There are also some other space-saving changes that we may look into later on," he said, adding that Google plans to mention the software in a forthcoming blog post.

Digital Earth Blog, which surfaced the forum post Wednesday, points to a few sites such as EarthSwoop and Mini Flight Sim where people can try the plug-in.

In other Mac news, Jason Toff, an associate product marketing manager for the Google Mac Team, announced Wednesday on the Google Mac blog that the Mac-specific Google page is no longer just available in English. The site now works in German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Dutch, and Italian.

Update 9:45 a.m. PST December 4: Google's blog post about the plug-in is now live.

In it, Google also announced a new Google Earth plug-in game, Puzzler, and some bug fixes in the Windows version of the Google Earth plug-in.

(Via Google Earth Blog.)