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Google Earth

CNET Editors' note: The "Download Now" link directs you to the Android Market where you must continue the download process. This download may not be available in some countries.

CNET Editors' review

Think of Google Earth as a sort of souped-up version of Google Maps, but with more of a focus on life-like renderings of locations, rather than typical roadmaps. With google Earth, you can virtually fly to pretty much anywhere on the planet, zooming in and out of cities and streets to your heart's desire.

While Google Earth lets you manually navigate to an area of interest (via zoom and swipe), the more precise method is to use the search bar. Here, you can type in a full address, just a city name, business name, or even a keyword (like "pizza"). In any case, Google Earth does a good job at returning relevant results. For isntance, searching for "pizza" adds pins to all of the pizzerias (and other relevant results) in your area.

Like Google Maps, Earth also includes optional layers of information, which add a lot to your browsing experience. You can overlay places, businesses, Wikipedia entries, Road information, and more. The most interesting layer, of course, is the 3D buildings. Available now for select major metro areas, the 3D buildings layer uses images gathered by airplane to give you stunning 360-degree views of cityscapes. Admittedly, the images are not perfectly sharp, but in most cases they are sharp enough. Still, the 3D views are amazing to see, and the good news is, they will only get better.

Google Earth for Android also supports Keynote Markup Language (KML) files, so you can click on any Earth file from around the Web to display custom elements like place marks, image overlays, and text descriptions on your Google Earth screen. With that, the app can tap into the Google Earth Gallery, giving you access to a collection of custom maps from all over the Web.

Lastly, with a tap on the small tab at the bottom of the screen, you can bring up Earth's tour guide. It's a nifty little addition, offering a selection of virtual tours of landmarks from around the globe.

With its smooth swiping and zooming and stunning 3D rendering, Google Earth is certainly a sight to behold. But more than that, it integrates Google's powerful search capabilities to give users a rich virtual travel experience.

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