Google Earth for Linux



One of the big linux news stories yesterday was the release of google earth for linux. Essentially the Google earth team has released “release 4″ which is a beta version of the next release. It looks like there are greater “user contribution” capabilities with this release. I’ve tried the download for linux and can say that it installs well, the user interface looks fine (it’s not a wine-wrapper application – it’s a true linux port.) It’s not usable yet (for me…)


The big problem i see so far is a patchwork quilt effect, where the different tiles may display different zoom levels. So the first earth image, the left half looks normal, the right half has the star field that should be space over it. As I zoom in, I get a mind-bending mix of correct layer in some tiles, continent level zoom in others and grey tiles in other areas. It’s, well, unusable. The drawn geopolitical outlines seem correct though.

I did see this issue reported in the Google Earth for Linux forum. Hopefully they’ll be able to decipher what the cause is and a fix will be coming soon. (Currently the old Google Earth for Windows in wine seems more usable but I’m sure once that issue’s fixed that will change.)

From the looks of the thread at bbs.keyhole.com there is a very common NVIDIA card that seems to be a common thread (GeForce 6200 TurboCache(TM)/PCI/SSE2/3DNOW!), although the GeForce 6100 and something from the 5XXX series was mentioned. Most seemed to be based on the 6200 NVidia cards. I’ve tested the old Google Earth (with wine) on the same machine and the rendering problem isn’t there if that’s worth anything.

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