“Over the last 10 years, businesses, scientists and hobbyists from all over the world have been using Google Earth Pro for everything from planning hikes to placing solar panels on rooftops. Google Earth Pro has all the easy-to-use features and detailed imagery of Google Earth, along with advanced tools that help you measure 3D buildings, print high-resolution images for presentations or reports, and record HD movies of your virtual flights around the world”
Product Manager Stafford Marquardt announcing on the Google Maps Blog on Friday, January 30th, 2015 that Google Earth Pro is now free
Yes, you’re not dreaming UWI (University of the West Indies) Geography and Geology Students, the headline is quite real.
Google Earth, that famous Satellite Mapping software that powers Google’s other LBS (Location Based Services) like Google Maps is now free (Nield, 2015). The News came via a post on the Google Maps Blog from Product Manager Stafford Marquardt.
It’s significant too, as there is cool stuff the Pro Version, costing some US$399 can do (Kumparak, 2015) that the non-Pro Version couldn’t:
- Print images at 4800×3200 resolution
- Automatically import thousands of addresses to be pinned on a map
- HD (High Definition) video capture of your travels on the computer
- Measure distances/areas using lines, paths, polygons, circles, and more
The Non-Pro version can only print images at 1000×1000 and measuring distance is only done along lines/paths.
Google making more money from Selling Data instead of the Whole Hog
Created after Google acquired CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)-funded Keyhole Inc. in 2004, Google transformed the CIA’s EarthViewer 3D (Chowdhry, 2015) into a commercially viable project. Spying still seems to be on the minds of many who use the software and the interest in viewing place on the Earth, both on land and under the Oceans many might not be able to visit.
Google Earth slowly rose to some 1 billion seven (7) years later in a world that’s now seeing the Geospatial Mapping tool facing competition from other LBS (Location Based Services), many of which purchase Google Earth’s Data.
No clear reason was given, but I’m willing to bet they’re getting more steady business from selling people access to the API (Application Interface) to integrate Google Maps Rich Data than from yearly subscription to a virtual spinning Globe on your desktop to regular customers.
That and the fact that there is as totally workable hack for Google Earth Pro that’s been available since March 2014 (Haqdost, 2014) that made it fully functional without paying the US$399 fee. Google, not wanting to bother to patch a software program with such slow growth that wasn’t making much money, decided that it was time to shake it off, Taylor Swift Style!
How to get Google Earth Pro Free as Free-Trial Expired
Use your email address that you registered for Google Earth as your username. After that, Google will send you a free Pro key for the software from Google in your email; your personal information was the currency (Murphy, 2015)) by which you’ll pay for this amazing privilege.
Then UWI Geography and Geology Students, head on over to Google Earth Pro download site and download the software to be installed on your desktop. Enter the Google Earth Pro Key you’ve received and start exploring your planet in a way you never thought possible!
Here’s the link:
- Chowdhry, A. (2015, January 1). Google Earth Pro Is Now Available For Free. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2015/01/30/google-earth-pro-is-now-available-for-free/
- Kumparak, G. (2015, January 31). Once $399 A Year, Google Earth Pro Is Now Free. Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/31/once-399-a-year-google-earth-pro-is-now-free/
- Murphy, D. (2015, January 31). Google Cuts Google Earth Pro From $400 to Free. Retrieved from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2476149,00.asp
- Nield, D. (2015, February 1). Google Earth Pro is now free for anyone to use. Retrieved from http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/google-earth-pro-reduced-399year-free
- Haqdost, S. (2014, March 30). Google Earth Pro Free
. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UItECGBtGY