The Layers feature in Google Earth provides a variety of data points of geographic interest that you can select to display over your viewing area. This includes points of interest (POIs) as well as map, road, terrain, and even building data. The full list of layers is available in the Layers panel. Layers content is created by Google or its content partners. Google publishes the content you see in the Layers panel.
Google Earth makes it seem like a high-resolution picture of the entire world is right in front of you, using its technology to move tons of information – zooming in and out, rotating, panning, and tilting. Google Earth’s technology uses disk cache, or temporary storage for files your computer has already accessed. If your computer can temporarily store viewed images of the Earth, it won’t need to retransfer the images from the source when you want to view them again. Also key to getting information on your is how your computer processes and displays maps, particularly with Universal Texture (UT). UT uses two methods for getting large amounts of information to your computer — mip mapping and clip stacking.
Avi Bar-Zeev was one of the founders of Keyhole and had a hand in writing the original “Earthviewer” program that would later become Google Earth. He has a more detailed look at what makes this technology possible on his website:
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