Google Earth has received so much press coverage that many users will appreciate that it is one of the coolest applications to download. In brief, it is a feature-laden 3D virtual globe, map and geography browser which lets users zoom in on their world with fantastic detail.
Google Earth is undoubtedly a very impressive application, and it is extremely hard not to admire the wealth of features that it offers. Its satellite images are unrivalled, it provides useful and accurate statistical information, and the software has many practical benefits, such as helping to find locations and give driving directions. In terms of functionality, this application earns our highest praise. We use the software on a regular basis on both desktop and mobile devices (the latter under Android). However, whilst Google Earth is available to download without charge, Google do not release the software under an open source license.
There are a number of applications which are credible open source alternatives to Google Earth. Whilst none of the software applications featured in this article have all of the features offered by Google Earth (although some offer some different features), and they are not exactly comparable, they are all worthy of investigation