Google Earth for Linux

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m a map geek. That means that I enjoy looking at maps and studying terrain for no particular reason except that it is interesting. About a year ago, a coworker introduced me to Google Earth. That was about the coolest thing ever! But one issue I had in subsequent months, since I use Linux as my primary desktop of choice, was that Google hadn’t ported their Google Earth app to Linux. I can understand that it is a big project, and most of the world uses Windows, blah, blah. BUT they ported it to Mac OS X. And I like to think that Linux should be a higher priority than Mac, since Macs until recently operated on an entirely different platform. Oh well. So be it. I have a Mac G4 cube at work, so of course I immediately wanted to play with Google Earth on that. Well, once again, Google angered me slightly, since Google Earth was only supported on OS 10.4 and higher. I was running 10.39. My boss didn’t feel like buying me a license for Tiger, just so I could play with Google Earth on it. Besides I also have a PC at work, so what was the problem? I like to try new things when they come out. That’s what!

Anyways. Today turns out to be the coolest day in my career of geekiness, since not only did I start my first blog earlier today, but I just found out that Google has released Google Earth version 4 beta. AND IT RUNS ON LINUX!!!

I just got a thousand times happier, since I have been waiting for this forever. So far there are no distro-specific releases, and absolutely no installation support that I could find on their website right off the bat, which might discourage someone from trying to install it if they didn’t know what they were doing. But I had no trouble installing it at all. And it runs well. One thing that bothered me a little… It doesn’t require you to become a root user to install it. It will simply install the entire program into the home directory of whatever user is installing it. That’s fine, I guess, but just kind of Windows-like… If you do run the installer script as root it will put it in the right place and then all you have to do is put a link to it, wherever you like. I put mine in my KDE menu and it even has the cool Google Earth icon. I’m going to go play with it some more now…

3 Comments

TrabbaJune 27th, 2006 at 08:09

Are you going to post pics up here? Trabba

FredJune 27th, 2006 at 22:41

That’s dang, man!

The good thing about Google Earth for Linux is that it is an actual Linux application, i.e. it uses real Linux libraries, too.

A little earlier, Google released Picasa, their photo software, for Linux too, but apparently it sucked because it was just the Windows app, wrapped into some Wine (Windows emulation) stuff. Which is slow, crappy, ugly etc 😉

That’s where I read it:
http://www.kdedevelopers.org/node/2098

jabbaJune 28th, 2006 at 07:10

Oh yes, I should have mentioned that: Google Earth for Linux does not suck, like Picasa.

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