Google Earth gets revival with tools for exploration

Google Earth is getting a revival, with the 3-D mapping service becoming more of a tool for adventure and exploration.

A central feature in the new Google Earth is Voyager. Google has partnered with such groups as the BBC, NASA and the producers of "Sesame Street" to mix in video clips, photos and text narratives. The Jane Goodall Institute, for instance, lets you journey to spots in Tanzania that inspired the chimpanzee expert.

Before Google Maps brought in real-world imagery, Google Earth was the place to go to for satellite views and 3-D images stitched together from aerial fly-bys. A software download was required, limiting its use.

With the update, Google Earth now works on desktop browsers. Google has a mobile app for Android but not iPhones or iPads yet.