Exploring Google Earth in Linux


Article from Issue 81/2007

Google Earth lets you view the world from space and zoom in on towns, roads, and even buildings. We’ll show you how to travel the planet from your Linux desktop.

Google Earth [1] brings hi-res aerial views of the whole Earth to your computer desktop. The latest full release, Google Earth 4, integrates satellite and aerial images with Wikipedia text [2], 3D models, and photos from Panoramio [3]. We tried out version 4 in Linux and found the journey quite pleasing – but if you ever decide to integrate your own 3D model, you may need Windows or MacOS.

On Screen

To run Google Earth in Linux, you need a desktop with working 3D acceleration. Apart from this, the software does not ask too much of your computer: a CPU with a clock speed of 500MHz and 128MB RAM are all it takes, although Google does recommend a 2.4 GHz CPU and 512MB RAM to avoid annoying screen refresh delays. Because Google Earth downloads the image data while you are using the tool, you also need a fast Internet connection. The box titled "Installation" tells you how to set up Google Earth on Linux.

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