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Google Earth now available on browsers other than Chrome, 3 years after its launch

Google Earth has announced that it will now be available on other browsers like Firefox, Edge and Opera Browsers. It was restricted to Chrome because it was built using Native Client which is a Chrome-only solution.

twitter-logo Yasmin Ahmed   New Delhi     Last Updated: February 28, 2020  | 17:33 IST
(Photo: Google Earth)

Highlights

  • Google Earth has announced that it will now be available on other browsers like Firefox, Edge and Opera Browsers.
  • It was initially restricted to Chrome browsers only.
  • However, Google has stated that it has some brushing up left to do.

Ever wanted to scan through locations on Google Earth but had trouble with your browser? Now, Google has enabled Google Earth on browsers other than Chrome.

Launched in 2017, Google created Earth for Web. Through this program, people could see 3D representation of places on Earth. This was based on satellite imagery. Owing to its satellite imagery, people could see cities, landscapes and roads from various angles.

Google Earth works by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography and Geographic Information System (GIS) data onto a 3D globe. Users can explore the programme by entering their address or co-ordinates of the map. It shows many new features.

The characteristic features include 3D maps, interactive guided tours and knowledge cards with fun facts about the place users are searching for. The service, however, was available exclusively on Chrome.

Three years after its launch, the latest update has been made available for the non-chrome users as well. The service also works on browsers like Vivaldi and Brave, Ghacks reports.

Jesse Beck, software engineer and Jordan Mears, Tech Lead Manager, Google Earth, in a blog post wrote, "After six months of public beta, we are now making Google Earth accessible on Firefox, Edge and Opera Browsers."

Google Earth was, however, restricted to Chrome browser. This was because it was built using Native Client which is a Chrome-only solution, the blog states.

"Earth is now accessible to other browsers because Google Earth Chrome was moved to WebAssembly. This was made possible by moving Google Earth for Chrome onto WebAssembly (Wasm), the W3C web standard for bringing native code to the web," Beck and Mears wrote on the blog.

However, there are limitations to using Google Earth. It loads a little slower and the service intends to warn users about this. They may get displayed with a message that says that "Earth is running an experimental version".

Also, Google has said that it still has a little brushing up to do with the Google Earth. "We still have some work to do Namely polishing our experience across all these browsers and adding support to Safari," Beck and Mears concluded.

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