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New update turns Google Earth into a free storytelling platform

Starting with Google Earth’s 2017 redesign, Google has placed a significant focus on the platform’s storytelling capabilities for professionals. After two years, Google is today announcing an update that allows everyone to easily access and operate those tools to create their own stories.

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Google Earth’s new creation features let you build stories and presentations that center around various places. You can arrange a series of locations in order and attach elements such as notes, pictures, and annotations to them. When you hit the play button, Google Earth will present it by automatically taking the map through the marked landmarks one by one.

In addition, you have the option to draw over the map freehand or by importing a specific shape and customize properties such as the dropped pins’ colors. There’s also the ability to configure the exact 3D view Google Earth should show during the playback.

It functions similarly to the stories available in Google Earth’s Voyager tab. However, those have been produced in collaboration with a number of productions such as BBC Earth. Most of these features were previously accessible to professionals through Google Earth Studio. The new update simply makes them more approachable and requires nothing more than just drag and drop.

The options could come in handy for researchers or students who would be able to employ it for purposes such as history and geography assignments.

“For nearly 15 years, people have turned to Google Earth for a comprehensive view of our planet. But our mission has never been to just show you a static picture of the planet; we want to bring the world to life. With new creation tools now in Google Earth, you can turn our digital globe into your own storytelling canvas,” the company said in a blog post.

The whole experience syncs with your Google Drive account. Apart from letting you resume projects, this enables you to share as well as collaborate on stories with others through an access link. The new features are now rolling out to Google Earth’s web, Android, and iOS apps. You can find these in the Projects tab situated inside the left menu.

Also, if you’re interested to engage more deeply with Google Earth, check out our guide on how to get Google Earth Pro for free.

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Shubham Agarwal
Shubham Agarwal is a freelance technology journalist from Ahmedabad, India. His work has previously appeared in Firstpost…
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