On the one-year anniversary of its release, Google Earth is receiving a facelift.

The new version, Google Earth 4, is available today for Linux, Windows, and OSX in a universal binary for both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs.

Google Earth is now also localised for French, Italian, German and Spanish.

Global coverage has been increased four times, so that Google Earth now covers more than 20% of the earth's landmass in high-resolution satellite imagery, and Google promises that Maps will receive a similar update soon.

The company estimates that about two billion houses can be viewed in high resolution, up to 10cm per pixel. Previously, Google Earth had received medium-resolution global satellite coverage at 15 meters per pixel, but a deal with the satellite company Digital Globe means that the resolution has been increased in most cases to 70cm per pixel.

KML, Google's file format for storing information like placemarks and network link information for Google Earth, has now been integrated into Google Maps, so that to view the KML file in Maps, you simply enter the URL for the file.

For those who are want to change the way other see Google Earth, a new version of Google SketchUp is available that enables the export of fully-textured 3D models to 3D Warehouse and Google Earth.

And for the business side of things, Google is introducing Google Maps for Enterprise, which is a fee-based service that allows businesses to embed Google Maps in their websites.

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