No web savvy user really needs an introduction to Google Earth. If you have ever used the internet for more than just email and chat, then chances are that you have heard or seen Google Maps, and its cousin, Google Earth. But still for those who don’t know, it is a virtual globe, that lets you see maps in 3D (that’s just giving it a one line definition).

Google Earth has evolved over the years, introducing features like Sky View, Mars and Street View in the desktop client. Google has continued the trend with its latest beta, Google Earth 5, introducing Ocean and History views along with other features and enhancements.I played with the latest version a bit, and checked out the new features. I specifically liked the Record a Tour mode, which could be very helpful at sending driving instructions of that new restaurant to your virtual girlfriend (if you had a real one, you would pick her up yourself). The other two major enhancements, while pretty impressive, didn’t work out for me that well.

I tried to use the history view at a number of places, but sadly those locations didn’t change much over time. I added some shots of Times Square, New York below. One is the latest version, while the other one is a 1995 black and white shot.

google-earth-history-newgoogle-earth-history-old

To be honest, I couldn’t get the ocean view to work for me, even after a full hour of unsuccessful attempts. I could get most of the features in the new ocean layer to work, but still wasn’t able to dive under the surface. This is actually a big hurdle towards the success of this new feature as it isn’t clear exactly how to dive under water.

I tried the Mariana Trench, Pacific, Atlantic, the Mediterranean and even the Indian ocean but still no luck. That’s why I decided to put the full review of Google Earth 5 on hold. As a filler for now, I have included the new features demo, Google had shared with us below. Oh and if you have managed to take an underwater swim, then please do let me know how via the comments.

You can find the download link in the box below.