By Brian Ellis, Software Engineer, Google Earth
There are good professional reasons for using 3D mouse devices like the 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator in Google Earth — such as virtually navigating under tree overhangs to evaluate the clearance of utility lines. But perhaps the best reason to use a 3D mouse in Earth is that it’s fun: swooping in and out of the Grand Canyon, or flying up and over the Sydney skyline, gives you a sense of scale and speed and makes you feel a little bit like a fighter pilot. But no matter your excuse for using a 3D mouse, we have good news: The web version of Earth now supports them.
Do more with your mouse
3D mice let you do things in Earth that a standard mouse simply can’t. They make you more agile: You can get views under and around buildings and landscapes, for example. If you’re an architect trying to get a better look at the structures near a proposed construction site, a 3D mouse is the way to do it. Same if you’re a helicopter pilot gauging the best approaches to a given location. And if you’re creating a camera path for a flythrough, it’s almost like having a motion-picture camera rig in your hand.
Now that you can use 3D mice in Earth on the web, there are exciting possibilities for education as well. Teachers can fly students over and around sites like Egypt’s pyramids or Washington D.C.’s monuments, or explore Machu Picchu and the Galápagos Islands.
Or maybe, after a long day at work, you’d just like to enjoy floating and zooming around Paris, Antarctica, or your own house. Whether you’re doing serious work or just having fun, we hope you enjoy the journey!