Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has announced that Google Earth Pro, the premium version of the Google Earth app priced at $399 will be available for free. Users will have to request for a free key for downloading the Pro version of the software.
The free version of the Google Earth app is used by billion of users worldwide for simple uses, though the pro version with advanced features is used by researchers and companies. Some of the features of Google Earth Pro are high-resolution images and automated geographic location with the ability to print the high-res photos.
“Businesses scientists and hobbyists from all over the world have been using Google Earth Pro for everything,” said Stafford Marquardt, product manager for Google Earth Pro.
Other features in the Pro version include Super Overlay features, animated movie creation and area measurements mainly for companies. Users can access demographic data like age, education, traffic and multi-point mapping. Pro version users can continue using and will no longer be subscription based.
The minimum requirements for the software is a PC with Windows XP or higher, OS 10.6 or higher for Mac users, 500MB disk space and 512MB RAM. EarthViewer 3D, a CIA project is the present Google Earth, which was acquired by the company in 2004. Users will need to provide their email address for registering and will be the username for using the service. Click on the link here to register for the free key.
However, the company has not mentioned why it chose to make the premium version free which would also result in a drop in revenue. The company might also have other plans of generating revenue through the service or might be stopped after a certain period.[ Source ]