It’s been more than four years since Google first added the flight simulator to Google Earth, and it remains one of the most popular features in Google Earth. As the quality of Google Earth’s imagery, terrain and 3D buildings have improved over the years, it’s helped make the flight simulator experience even better.
However, that wasn’t enough for user ‘that1anonymousdude’. He’s created a file that will modify your flight sim and let you turn the speed up really high. Using his mod, you can fly up to around 100,000 knots, while keeping solid control, and even fly up into space. It’s quite cool. Here’s a video of it in action:
His program modifies the flight sim config files to allow you to reach these crazy speeds (it doesn’t actually modify the actual Google Earth software). He’s released the source code so you can see how it works, and I’ve scanned it to verify there are no viruses or anything in it. However, always use caution when loading a third-party executable file on your computer.
There have been two updates to the Places Quality Guidelines over the past two weeks. On July 21st, with the rollout of the new Places Page look, Google added this paragraph (bold added by me):
You cannot create Places listings for stores which you do not own, but which stock your products. Instead, consider asking the store owner to update their own Places listing with a custom attribute specifying brands or products they stock, including yours. While this data may not appear on the Place page, this information continues to help our system understand more about your business and ensure your organic listings appears and ranks appropriately on Google and Google Maps when potential customers perform searches related to your business.
This is a clear indication that while not displaying the information in the Additional details area of the Places listing they are in fact using the information for relevance and rank in retrieval of the listings and you want to still fill in the extra information.
Google added a paragraph to the Quality Guidelines allowing stores within other stores to explicitly note their relationship with the mall or container store:
Some businesses may be located within a mall or a container store, which is a store that contains another business. If your business is within a container store or mall, and you’d like to include this information in your listing, specify the container store in parentheses in the business name field. For example, Starbucks (inside Safeway).
A few days since Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and already there are a variety of 3D models of his mansion available in the Google 3D Warehouse. Some are nice renderings, some use very realistic textures, and one is simply meant to be funny. However, all of them show that there are some very talented modelers out there, being able to produce models of this quality in such a short time frame.
Here are some of the best ones, in no particular order:
From J.A. Alvarez | details | KMZ
From Finnian | details | KMZ
From Aerilius | details | KMZ
From timmy | details | KMZ
From Mogens Bregnbaek | details | KMZ
I would assume that Google will post one of them as a default 3D model in Google Earth at some point.