Google Earth 6 goes tree hugging

Google has released the latest instalment of its massively popular Google Earth platform, version 6, bringing along 3D trees for the ride.

The 3D trees can be seen in the 3D buildings view, and there are "dozens" of species on show.

"While we’ve just gotten started planting trees in Google Earth, we already have more than 80 million trees in places such as Athens, Berlin, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Tokyo", said Peter Birch, product manager at Google Earth.

"Through our Google Earth Outreach program, we’ve also been working with organizations including the Green Belt Movement in Africa, the Amazon Conservation Team in Brazil and CONABIO in Mexico to model our planet’s threatened forests".

Another major edition to Google Earth 6 is fully integrated Street View. Pegman sits right on the controls dock now and, just like in Google Maps, you can now drop the little fellow anywhere with Street View imagery and take a closer look around a destination.

Finally, Google has made it easier to find historical imagery, with the date of the oldest information for a selected place shown in the status bar at the bottom. Clicking the date takes you back in time, without the need for a nuclear reaction to generate 1.21-gigawatts of electricity.

Google 6 is available to download free right now.