This is a non-optimized version of Google Earth, to be used in a browser. The fully functional version is called “Google Earth Pro”, and is now available at no cost since 2015.
To be fair, Google had some issues with “Earth” in the past. It became almost unusable for a while. These times are pasted, and Google Earth is stable again, and here to stay, apparently (#CrossedFingers). It is available for Windows, Linux and Mac.
What is its purpose?
Of course, you will need a rather powerful video card on your computer, because the precision of the maps is generally very good and demanding for your display.
You will also need a good Internet connection (hopefully above 20 Mbit/s), if you want to get a smooth experience and a quick display of high-level details.
If some of the above is missing, you will have to be patient.
This is the first use one would think of: to locate your home and recognize the streets in which you use to drive. This further helps a lot when it comes to discover places you never visited before.
It wouldn’t be fair from us to forget the great Open Street Map, on the mapping theme (completely independent from Google – and completely independent alone).
This App within the App is among the most “job creators” in Google Earth. People actually drive everywhere with cars equipped with a weird dome on their roof, with which they take panoramic photos in every directions (360° horizontal and vertical).
The app works as follows: Upright on the screen, there is a set of controls, to navigate through the map, in addition to the “left click” classical method, on the map/photo to move it, and “scroll wheel” to bring it nearer.