As Peter Birch, Google Earth product manager, blogged, “With today’s release of Google Earth for iOS you can literally fly through breathtaking 3D city landscapes and images and follow virtual tours of places you’ve never been — all with a simple swipe of your fingertip.”
Birch’s blog post highlighted the app’s Tour Guide feature that lets users browse through thumbnails to explore any city or landmark. Some of the photos are user generated.
Birch writes that Google is adding new locations “as fast as we can.” The cities that are 3D-viewable right now are Boulder, Boston, Charlotte, Lawrence (KS), Long Beach (CA.), Los Angeles, Portland (OR), San Diego, Santa Cruz, Tampa, Tucson, and the San Francisco Bay Area. On the international scene, the Google Earth app will show you Rome in 3D.
By the end of 2012, Google plans to have the 3D imaging available in metropolitan areas with a combined population of 300 million people or more.