Update: Google have made GE Pro free for all users – thanks Google. The post below is now obsolete.
Recently I had a few inquiries from students, academics and IT staff who had heard that as a member of a UK university you can get Google Earth Pro for free. This is to clarify:
Google grant Google Earth Pro licenses to UK HE institutions through their Google Earth Pro Grants programme.
This is for institutional licenses, meaning the university is the license holder, not the individual student or academic. There is no grant for personal licenses. If you want a personal Google Earth Pro license your only option is to purchase one from Google.
If you act on behalf of the university and want to apply for a grant, read on:
The Google Earth Pro grant is for 30 licenses, for one year.
First time application process:
- Download and install a trial of Google Earth Pro from http://www.google.com/enterprise/mapsearth/products/earthpro.html. You will need to leave your details and Google sends you a trial license key.
- Check your eligibility for a free license grant: go to http://sitescontent.google.com/google-earth-for-educators/google-earth-pro-grants-wizard/newrenewal, and go through the wizard to determine your eligibility for a new grant.
- At the end of the wizard you are taken to a grant application form. Fill it out. You will need to make a case for the grant. Then wait for response from Google. This can take up to a three months.
- If you get the grant, Goggle convert your trial license key to a Goggle Earth Pro license key.
- On clients: install Google Earth Pro and enter your license key and the email address that you had used to apply for the grant. The license key and the email address will be visible to end users.
- After one year the license expires, to renew it go to the application/renewal page (http://sitescontent.google.com/google-earth-for-educators/google-earth-pro-grants-wizard/newrenewal), enter your previous license key (even if it says to enter a trial key!), and go through the wizard to apply for a renewal of the grant.
- You will need to make a case again, Google asks:
- Provide a URL or description of any student created content. (This could be a contribution to the Google Earth Community or Google Earth for Educators message boards)
- How have you used Google Earth Pro in the past year? (Ie. research for a paper/thesis, teaching tool, curriculum planning, presentation tool, etc.)
- How are you planning to use Google Earth Pro in the upcoming year? (Ie. research for a paper/thesis, teaching tool, curriculum planning, presentation tool, etc.)
I applied for and received a grant for Manchester University in 2013, had it for a year, but did not renew due to little interest from users.
Hope this helps someone.