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Google Earth’s third-party app support is going away, for now

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Google Earth’s technology has led to some pretty cool third-party projects over the past six years, but you may not see many of those efforts for at least a little while. Google has announced that it’s retiring Earth’s app programming interface within a year. Any mapping software built using that kit will stop working on December 12th, 2015. As the company explains, it’s simply a matter of security. Chrome and Firefox are phasing out support for the old, vulnerable Netscape plugin format that Earth uses for third-party web apps, and Google doesn’t want to leave people open to attack. This isn’t necessarily the end for broad Earth support, mind you. Google notes that “3D is in [its] blood,” and is teasing that there’s more in the pipeline. It’s not clear that this includes a new toolbox, but you may not have to worry about a dearth of clever maps just yet.


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