Google recently announced a new feature in Google Maps that brings the interactive 3D view of Earth directly to your browser.
The 3D view requires Google Earth Plugin. The Google Earth Plugin is a web browser plugin that lets you navigate and explore geographic data on a 3D globe across a variety of web sites, including Google Maps. The Google Earth Plug-in is currently available for Google Chrome 1.0+, Internet Explorer 7+ (32-bit), Firefox 2.0+ and Flock 1.0+ on Microsoft Windows (2000, XP, Vista, and 7), and Google Chrome 1.0+, Safari 3.1+ and Firefox 3.0+ on Apple Mac OS X 10.4 and higher (Intel and PowerPC).
You can view the new map view by clicking on the “Earth” button at the top of a map. You will be flown directly into a Google Earth view where you are able to zoom and pan around with your mouse, or on-screen controls.
Google Earth launched in 2005 supports Mac, Linux, iPhone, Android and even the 2011 Audi A8.
In 2008, Google released the Google Earth Plugin to developers and now it is made available for Google Maps. You can now explore the world in data-rich 3D imagery and terrain from Google Earth. With the Earth Plugin, you can enjoy the Google Maps experience that includes angled Earth views, 3D buildings, smooth panning and zooming and a great introductory showcase of places to visit and things to see.