The Google Earth a virtual globe program that maps the entire earth by pasting images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS over a 3D globe. Google has released release 4 of Google Earth in beta phase, which adds support for Linux operating platform, on top of current supported platform of Windows 2000, Windows XP and Mac OS X, together with other features enhancements and improvements.

Google Earth version 4 features a new user interface (UI) where data layers have been reorganized to make it easier to find layers and turn them on and off, more real estate for actual imagery and map by removing the navigation panel at the bottom of the screen and moving the nav panel tools to upper right and the tools (measure, print, email) tools bar to the top. Beside, Google Earth release 4 supports “textured” photorealistic 3D building models which can be created and built with Google Sketch, improves on terrain, and smart loading techniques been integrated into KML (file format Google Earth uses to add and share data) so that large data sets can be overlayed without decrease in performance.

Google Earth now also available in French, Italian, German, and Spanish language. Google Earth can be downloaded from Google Earth website.

Update: Google Earth R4 Final