I've got a costumer of mine asking for an integration of the Google Earth Plugin to his website.

From Google earth Plugin site I read this:

Google Earth Plugin API has been deprecated as of December 12th, 2014. The API will continue to work on supported browsers until December 12th, 2015, and will shut down on that date.

What alternative exist?

I know that there are Google Maps API, Google Maps Engine API, Google Street View API, but I'm confused about them and which one can "substitute" Google Earth Plugin.

The features that I need are these, in order of importance:

  1. load a KMZ file over a satellite view
  2. show balloons with HTML data that is present in KMZ files entities. The html will contain links to street view, and I would like to have street view enabled inside balloons. I managed to do this in Google Earth.
  3. satellite images historical imagery selector
  4. measure tool
  5. get address of a clicked point (geocooding)
  6. 3D buildings
  • 2
    in order for someone to help. We would need to know what you are trying to accomplish. what did the plugin do for the website. how was the api integrated. what would you like to use? basemaps, geocoding, routing, viewing, printing?
    – Brad Nesom
    Jan 20, 2015 at 19:05
  • @BradNesom done!
    – kiks73
    Jan 21, 2015 at 8:04
  • @Cameron Sloan Number 3 will be difficult for any application to accomplish because this is a data problem. Google has access to volumes of Digital Globe imagery (among other sources) which allows for historic imagery comparisons. ESRI and other vendors do not have access to such data similiar to the scale of Google.
    – Steve M.
    Jul 27, 2015 at 16:37
  • @BradNesom I am looking to create a widget on the web that allows users to view a mountain from a lower altitude looking up. It would be a for a website guide to wingsuit base jumping exits around the world. Please let me know if arc can handle this. Dec 25, 2015 at 23:58

6 Answers 6


Besides Cesium, the following alternatives could be explored for simple globe visualisations:

Neither plugin nor webGL required. Freedom!


The issue of the depreciated Earth API is known, and several have suggested Cesium as an alternative. You can read more about it on Google Earth Blog


I have been using MapRight. It is web based with iOS apps, and it is extremely easy to use. It combines parcel data with powerful mapping and presentation functionalities.

  • Welcome to GIS SE! Do you have any affiliation with MapRight?
    – PolyGeo
    Feb 4, 2016 at 22:59

ArcGIS is coming out with ArcGIS Earth in December. They are announcing it this week and I am sure that the beta will be out soon. Since ArcGIS API supports all that you listed (even 3D in the 4.0 Beta API) there shouldn't be any of the criteria mentioned that ArcGIS Earth won't cover. I will update this answer when I get more information.

ArcGIS Earth has now been released for a while. Its latest release is 1.4.

Its current marketing includes:

Explore any part of the world with ArcGIS Earth. Work with a variety of 3D and 2D map data formats … including KML.

Display data, sketch placemarks, measure distances and areas, and add annotations. ArcGIS Earth has everything you need to easily understand spatial information so you get the full picture.


(http://skylinesoft.com/skylineglobe/corporate/products/terraexplorer.aspx?) for years at my client site and TE is the closest application I've seen as a one-to-one replacement for GE. TE can handle your list of items (except for #3) out of the box and TE's API is also open. Let me know if you have any questions.


Soon you will be able to view 3D Mapping and buildings on the Cesium Globe (www.cesiumjs.com) with 3D Mapping and Buildings created by Cyber City 3D (www.cybercity3d.com).

  • 3
    Welcome to GIS SE. Do you have any affiliation with Cesium Globe?
    – Aaron
    Nov 9, 2015 at 1:13

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.