Google has taken down the $399 per year subscription for Google Earth Pro, and made the premium service free.
On Friday, the company announced that the paid-subscription model of the Google Earth, called Google Earth Pro, is now free for users globally. While existing users will be able to use it with no change, new users will first need to sign up for a licence after they have installed the application. The Google Earth Pro client is compatible with machines running OS X 10.6 and higher or Windows XP and higher, and requires a minimum of 500MB of free storage and 512MB of RAM.
"Starting today [Friday], even more people will be able to access Google Earth Pro: we're making it available for free. [...] Google Earth Pro has all the easy-to-use features and detailed imagery of Google Earth, along with advanced tools that help you measure 3D buildings, print high-resolution images for presentations or reports, and record HD movies of your virtual flights around the world," said Stafford Marquardt, Product Manager, Google Earth Pro.
Marquardt explains, premium features that are now free include building measurement, high-resolution images, HD recording to virtual routes, and more. Last year in October, Google had brought Google Earth view extension for Chrome - bringing satellite imagery to new tabs.
The extension for Google Chrome called 'Earth View from Google Maps' allows users to move away from the stereotypical new page on opening a new tab, and instead view different Google Earth images. It shows different satellite images as the tab's background image every time a user opens a new Chrome tab. The images range from forest landscapes to aerial views of cities and oceans. Users can explore more locations by clicking on a globe icon on the bottom-right corner of the screen and view user-clicked images of the particular place within Google Maps.