Google brings all of Earth to your browser


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This morning at the Google IO conference, the company announced a new browser plug-in that enables users to get the same high-flying experience they've been getting in the standalone geography software application Google Earth.

The diminutive plug-in, which weighs in at just 300k turns Firefox 2 (3 RC1 is not currently supported) or IE6 and 7 into 3D-capable mapping solutions. The technology ties into the Google Earth API, and the current example found here lets you zoom around all of earth, complete with 3D topography. The controls are a little more stripped down, with one button that scrolls around and right click contextual menus that let the user control which angle they're viewing the map from. In the future, developers will be able to build their own tools on top of this platform, and drop it right into their sites.

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