June 25th, 2009 | Published in Google Earth
Over the past several months, the Google Earth Vector Team has been updating the 'Populated Places' and 'Alternative Place Names' layers in Google Earth. The alternative names show a place name in the local language and script. You can view Greek cities written in the Greek alphabet, Armenian in the Armenian alphabet, and Bulgarian in Cyrillic. Try flying to Japan, South Korea, China, Thailand, India or Pakistan. You'll see cities written as they are on local maps. This greatly enriches the browsing experience in Google Earth by showing part of the unique regional culture. This feature becomes a valuable asset when planning travel or trying to find your way around abroad.
With the success of Google Map Maker in many countries of the world, users have created an enormous amount of accurate city, town, and village names (not to mention roads and points of interest), and this user generated data is being used by both Google Earth and Google Maps. We treat you as local experts, who provide names in many scripts and languages. The result is a detailed and enriched map that benefits everyone. Our place names for India, Pakistan, and Armenia have all come from Map Maker. With Google Earth's multilingual support, you copy and paste the place names in the blog post title and see where you land.
We recently added a large number of Chinese small town and village names in English as well as the Simplified and Traditional Chinese languages. This brings in the high quality and coverage of Google Maps - China to Google Earth for the first time. We also updated Egypt and Jordan with Arabic names to match the quality we have in Lebanon.
It is important to Google to have the best possible data for our geo products like Google Earth and Google Maps. Keep updating Map Maker with the places you know, and revisit Google Earth for more updates coming soon!