The news broke this week that Google has updated the Google Earth EULA to allow “internal use” for commercial users. Now what does this mean? I’m thinking that you can now use Google Earth at work for for personal and work related use as long as you aren’t reselling that work. For example, I can now load Google Earth “Free” on my work laptop and research a camping trip I might make this winter. Before this was precluded by the EULA. I also believe that I can use Google Earth for admin purposes within my company. But since I’m a consultant, I still can’t use Google Earth Free/Plus to produce or work with any project for my clients. That still requires Google Earth Pro.
_ Snidely Whiplash no longer has commercial KML users tied up_
So now when you see a KML while browsing the internet, you can safely view it at work (assuming your IT staff allows it). I believe you can also use KML created by you or your company, or view KML created by others for your work (if you are an end user). But if you are in the consulting business, you’ll still need to buy Google Earth Pro to produce products for clients.
Thus those who create KML with GE for clients will still have to buy Google Earth Pro, BUT their clients will be able to view the KML we give them with Google Earth without having to buy copies of Google Earth Pro. Huge shift in my opinion here.
(Note: I am not a lawyer here so listen to me at your peril.)
Update: Let me just clarify here. I’m saying that I think this makes Google Earth the geospatial viewer we’ve all been asking for. I think anyone in a commercial setting can view KML with Google Earth no matter who the KML is for. I think the only limitation anymore is that you can’t create KML with GE without Pro and you can’t perform any analysis with GE without Pro. That is such a small part of what GE is that this will almost never come up for most users. As I said above: HUGE SHIFT in the Digital Globe product sector.