Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Google Earth Version - BAD!

I'm sorry to report that Google Earth has done it again!

DO NOT UPGRADE to the new 5.2 version - until they have resolved some issues. I recently reported on the new update to Google Earth which has a couple of "eye candy" improvements, but appeared to be stable. It is not!

Shortly after the release of the last post about the new Arizona USGS files a reader reported that the files didn't work like they should. Together we researched the issue and found that the latest GE update IS FAULTY.

Therefore, for the time being, both of the previous mentioned posts have been withdrawn until I can report this to Google Earth and have a solution.

For those of you who want to know - the problem as we have found it so far is thus: Just like the problem Google created in the version before last - they didn't check it's quality before they released it.

Last time they substantially changed how they interpret padding, widths, margins, colors, widths etc. Is any of this ringing a bell with you web programmers?

For years developers have bad mouthed Microsoft for its Internet Explorer handling these same issues different than Fire Fox and other competitors. Google is not any different.

The last time Google fouled up its existing program while trying to "improve" it, it took them nearly 9 months to fix the problem - all the time denying they had "done anything" on the developers forum.

This last "update" (the one I said was OK) they substantially altered the way it handles "network links" without informing anyone.

A network link is a "Placemark" which you put in your map file that is only loaded "if needed." It's something you want to show, but which won't be used very often so isn't "turned on" so-to-speak until the user clicks on the button. That way it doesn't slow down the program.

All previous versions of Google Earth have included the "sub-map" or "asset" inside a sub-folder WITHIN the .kmz file it creates when it zipped it. That way all the links can be preserved and files display properly.

This latest version (discovered with the help of Michael, a loyal Nevada reader) no longer does that! The sub-map files are left out of the zipped file all-together!

Therefore the links are BROKEN and the map file doesn't work. Unfortunately, in the process of discovering this malfunction not only is the Arizona file bad, but now the previously working Nevada USGS file doesn't work either.

I will try and resolve this issue with Google and keep you updated of the progress; However, until then I've got to try and find a workaround to restore these map files, so I'll let you know when that happens as well.

All, of the other map files seem to work OK - the problem as we know it now only exists for any new file which is created!


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