Google Earth 2012
Google Earth is a virtual globe, map and geographical information program that was originally called EarthViewer 3D, and was created by Keyhole, Inc, a company acquired by Google in 2004. It maps the Earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS 3D globe. It was available under three different licenses, 2 currently: Google Earth, a free version with limited functionality; Google Earth Plus (discontinued), which included additional features; and Google Earth Pro ($399 per year), which is intended for commercial use.
The product, re-released as Google Earth in 2005, is currently available for use on personal computers running Windows 2000 and above, Mac OS X 10.3.9 and above, Linux kernel: 2.6 or later (released on June 12, 2006), and FreeBSD. Google Earth is also available as a browser plugin which was released on May 28, 2008.It was also made available for mobile viewers on the iPhone OS on October 28, 2008, as a free download from the App Store, and is available to Android users as a free app on the Android Market. In addition to releasing an updated Keyhole based client, Google also added the imagery from the Earth database to their web-based mapping software, Google Maps. The release of Google Earth in June 2005 to the public caused a more than tenfold increase in media coverage on virtual globes between 2004 and 2005,driving public interest in geospatial technologies and applications.