Google has announced its Google Earth application has reached a milestone of 1 billion downloads. This includes both desktop downloads as well as mobile app downloads through the Google Earth plug-in.
“We’re proud of our one billion milestone, but we’re even more amazed at the way people have used Google Earth to explore the world,” wrote Brian McClendon, an engineering VP at Google Earth and Maps.
In celebration, Google launched a website featuring studies of how the application has been put to use. Some of the stories include an Amazon tribe’s expedition to geo-tag their land for conservation use, a group determined to eliminate land mines worldwide, and an Australia-based archaeologist using it to identify archaeological sites in Saudi Arabia.
Google Earth launched back in 2005, initially attracting attention because it gave people a way to literally zoom over 3D-rendered images of earth with extensive details. In 2006 they introduced a 3D building layer, and in 2007 they began mapping the sky. By 2009 they were offering detailed space landscapes as well as segments of the ocean floor. Google even teamed up with the North American Aerospace Defense Command to track Santa across the Christmas Eve sky.
Are you a Google Earth user? Have you made any interesting discoveries while browsing lands you have yet to see in person?