I know Google Earth became very popular a while back when it first came out as it was very useful and amusing to travel so quickly and to view your homes, famous cities, buildings, and just about anything geographical of interest, but now it has died down in popularity and interest in the public.
But today, friends, I urge you to download the latest version of Google Earth (4.3 - and YES there are significant changes from 4.2), especially if you have a dedicated graphics card (recommended NVIDIA 6800 and higher, or ATi X1000-series or newer).
Some of my hobbies have always been astronomy, aerospace engineering, and astrophysics, so this really interested me. It had been a while since I used it but ever since i download 4.3, and sky, and toned all the options up, I find it incredible
The atmosphere is so lifelike, the clouds are real
! The anisotropic filtering has greatly improved since the original releases of GE. The best feature, I believe, is the ability to position the sun by changing time of day. This greatly increases the level of realism and generates eerily perfected renders, and is really worth seeing.
The integration of Streetview (which is another incredible development by Google - they have 180 degree panorama now) connects it to real life graphically and really immerses the user in any major city in the United States, parts of Canada, and some cities in Europe.
Please just check it out!
Here is the link to Sky+Earth
, and don't be afraid of Google Updater, its given up trying to implement the stupid toolbar and other needless items, and has become simply an efficient means of installation.