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Lloyd Bosworth : archaeologist | human | beard

Google Earth Pro now Free!

Google Earth Pro reduced by $400!

Georeferenced LiDAR image of Bigbury Hill Fort, Canterbury, imported directly into Google Earth Pro. On January 30, 2015, Google announced that the Pro version of their Google Earth software would come down in price… to free. Until now, the Pro version would have set you back $400 per year. For those on a tight budget, (or with sense!), this was reason enough to stick with the free version and forgo the extra tools in Google Earth Pro.

I always felt that $400 per year was an almighty rip-off and was happy to integrate the free version within my workflow as far as it could go, and then use other tools where necessary. But what could you do with the $400 Google Earth Pro that you couldn’t do with Google Earth, and why should you now switch? Well, it’s not for higher-resolution imagery, as this is the same across all Google products. But the available toolkit for working with this imagery does increase.

For me, the three most important new tools that the Pro licence unlocks are:

GIS import

Got a spreadsheet of coordinate points? Now you can bulk import them into Google Earth Pro (max. 2500), assigning placemark and style templates as you go.

Spreadsheet import

Got a spreadsheet of coordinate points? Now you can bulk import them directly into Google Earth Pro (max. 2500), assigning placemark and style templates as you go.

Advanced measuring tools

Google Earth allows you to take linear measurements from an A/B line or a multi-path line. Great if all you need is the distance between two points, or the distance along a path, but what’s the area of that field, car park, hill fort? Google Earth Pro extends the basic line/path measuring tool to include polygon, circle, 3D path and 3D polygon.

Georeferenced LiDAR image of Bigbury Hill Fort, Canterbury, imported directly into Google Earth Pro.

Georeferenced LiDAR image of Bigbury Hill Fort, Canterbury, imported directly into Google Earth Pro.

You also get:

  • Higher-resolution printing, up from 1000px to 4800px.
  • The ability to produce HD movies up to 1920×1080 in either Windows Media or Quicktime format.
  • Access to some “exclusive” data layers for demographic, parcel and traffic data for the USA. Great if you’re interested in US census data I guess, otherwise, not so much.

Download Google Earth Pro

To get your free Google Earth Pro, pop over to the Google Earth Pro download page and download the installer. Once you’re installed it, go to File > Server Sign In. In the window that opens, fill in the email field and in the licence key field enter GEPFREE. Now you’re all set to go!

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