The satellite imagery service along with 3D maps, interactive guided tours and fun facts about the place attract internet users to use Google Earth. The platform works by superimposing satellite images, Geographic Information System (GIS) data and aerial photography onto a 3D globe. The internet users can explore the program by either entering an address or coordinates of the map. Based on the availability of satellite imagery, internet users can see cities, landscapes, and roads from various angles.
Google had made Earth for Web exclusively limited to Chrome browser. The reason for keeping the service restricted to Chrome browser is because it is built using Native Client, which uses Chrome-only solution. Three years after the initial launch, the latest update has made Earth available for non-Chrome users as well.
In an official blog post, Jesse Beck, software engineer and Jordan Mears, Tech Lead Manager for Google Earth wrote, “After six months of public beta, we are now making Google Earth accessible on Firefox, Edge and Opera Browsers. Earth is now accessible to other browsers because Google Earth Chrome was moved to WebAssembly. This was made possible by moving Google Earth for Chrome onto WebAssembly (Wasm), the W3C web standard for bringing native code to the web.”
There are still some limitations to use Google Earth on other browsers – it loads a little slower and Google flashes a message that says “Earth is running an experimental version”. The company is working towards polishing the experience across other browsers and also adding support for Safari.