Google Earth today added YouTube functionality, allowing users to watch videos of their favorite (or soon-to-be favorite) places around the globe. Now virtual tourists can scope the beaches of Maui, or check out the scene around the Eiffel Tower before jetting off to Paris.
Once the Google Earth app is downloaded, YouTube video can be accessed in the “featured content” folder. As you pan across the globe, YouTube icons will appear, indicating which locations have video associated with them. According to the Google Earth Blog, YouTube-rs user can geo-tag their videos, and if they want them included, they need to allow embeds. Google will periodically update the layers to show the latest vids.
Google Earth was at first a playful (yet addictive) distraction that caused occasional national security headaches. But as it continues to bulk up on features, it becomes much more than that, and opportunities are starting to abound. Notes Google expert John Battelle:
Second Life is all about play, and fantasy, and alternative realities. I’m going to guess that Google’s version is going to be all about reality, and mashing up AdWords, Google Earth, Sketchup, and the Yellow Pages/Google Local.
Full disclosure: Battelle’s firm, Federated Media, provides advertising for NewTeeVee