Google Earth is a globe, virtual 3D geographic information system given as a free service and a paid service by search engine giant Google. After the acquisition of Keyhole Ince, renamed Google Earth 3D viewer as Google Earth (GE) and reissued in 2005 and was an immediate success and became a pioneer for satellite mapping applications and services driving huge public attention.
GE is available in a free version and a paid version (Pro version requires US $ 400 per year). GE is available on multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS, mobile phones as a Java application, also on the iPhone. Google has released a plugin for the browser in 2008 that allowed browsers to display satellite maps in 3D by simply installing a browser plugin.
GE creates a virtual globe 3D viewing experience by overlaying land resource of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS images. For other parts of the land, buildings and 3D images are available obtained using NASA technology DEM (Digital Elevation Model).
The new versions offer multiple layers that give useful information such as tourist attractions, roads, administrative data, etc. In 2006, Google added a new layer called geographical web who added the Wikipedia articles and Panoramio images as layers. Recent versions of Google Earth provides layers of Flikr images, YouTube videos, web cam pictures etc selectable layer on Google Earth maps.