Users of Google Earth will get another new feature today - the ability to watch YouTube videos about places you are exploring in the programme. The YouTube videos will be available through a new layer in the Featured Content folder.
While it doesn't seem very exciting, the new feature will provide a more immersive way of exploring cities all around the globe. Instead of just looking at pictures and 3D models of buildings and attractions, you'll be able to get a guided video tour of whatever you wish without leaving the confines of the window.
"Our vision here is all about the sense of place. Photos show the local view, but videos add the sense of life,[i]" said Michael Jones, chief technologist for Google Earth. "[i]The combination of Earth's "where" with YouTube's "what" makes the combined experience that much more complete and compelling
An example of the feature would be that when you visit Rome (in Google Earth, of course), you can look at the Colosseum through the dozens of user-submitted photos or you could watch a YouTube video and see what it's like to really be there.
Full details on the YouTube panel will be available later today over on the Google LatLong blog
Google Earth isn't the only thing getting updated this week either. Google Maps received a community map feature that will allow to to search for places based on queries such as "where to go on a date." There were also six new US cities added to the StreetView feature. Chicago, Portland, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Tucson and Philadelphia are the latest cities that you're able to explore through panoramic images.
A new ability to pan up and down in StreetView was also added in the new cities. You now have the ability to pan up and see the top of the Sears Tower
or you can pan down and see what the StreetView vehicle looks like
Think you'll find this feature handy or will you simply ignore it? Tell us what you think about it over in the forums