Google has added the mapping features of its standalone Google Earth application into its web-based Maps service.
The company said that it will add a new 'Earth' view to Maps which will recreate many of the view options and features of Google Earth.
Among the features will be the ability to view terrain in 3D, and move between locations and adjust views in the same way that Google Earth allows. Additionally, the Earth view will support the business search and navigation services from Google Maps.
The Earth view runs within the normal Maps service on the browser, but users will need to download and install a plug-in from Google to use the service.
The company said that advances in browser and mapping technology had made the Earth service feasible on Maps.
"The time has come to take off the plug-in's online training wheels and roll it out on the main stage: Google Maps," wrote Google Geo vice president of engineering Brian McClendon in a blog posting.
"So if you're one of the hundreds of millions of people who use Maps worldwide, you can now explore the world in luxuriantly detailed, data-rich 3D imagery and terrain from Google Earth."
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