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Google Adds YouTube To Global Mapping Service

Users can watch, for example, YouTube video of surfing, snorkeling, and exotic sea life in Maui, Hawaii, while getting maps to points of interests.
Google on Thursday added YouTube videos to its desktop global mapping software, giving users the option of watching video shot at specific geographical locations.

The new feature on Google Earth makes it possible for users searching for satellite pictures and street maps of locations to also watch video.

To access video, users click on a Featured Content folder that automatically places icons of the YouTube logo on the Google Earth map. Placing the mouse cursor over a logo gets the title of the video, and clicking on the icon opens a pop-up bubble. Window users can watch the video directly in the bubble; Mac users have to click on the link in the bubble to watch the video in their browser.

Users can watch, for example, YouTube video of surfing, snorkeling, and exotic sea life in Maui, Hawaii, while getting maps to points of interests, Google said in a blog post. The video can be watched within Google Earth or on YouTube.

The search engine finds video for Google Earth through geo-tags in the video files. The feature works in a similar way to the Google Book Search layer in Earth that shows the titles of books written about locations.

In August, Google added extra-terrestrial data detailing what people might see when they look up from a particular location. A Sky button on the software toggles the view from planetary to celestial. The data set includes 100 million stars and 200 million galaxies. The feature also includes a video primer for novice virtual astronomers.

Google Earth competes with Microsoft's Virtual Earth. The detailed satellite photos available through the services have posed security problems for governments. Microsoft, for example, angered the Navy last month when pictures of a classified submarine propeller appeared on Virtual Earth while the vessel was in dry dock.

Google similarly upset Chinese officials by clearly showing on Google Earth a classified ballistic missile submarine.