01/27/2012 10:26 EST | Updated 03/28/2012 05:12 EDT

Google touts improved images in Earth 6.2

Google has launched Google Earth 6.2, which it says shows a more seamless globe than the previous version and includes a new search interface.

Views of the Earth on the previous version sometimes appeared patchy because they were assembled using a mosaic of satellite and aerial photographs taken on different dates and under different lighting and weather conditions. Earth 6.2, Google says, introduces a new way of rendering imagery that smoothes the quilt of images.

"The end result is a beautiful new Earth-viewing experience that preserves the unique textures of the world’s most defining geographic landscapes — without the quilt effect," the company said in a blog post Thursday.

The change appears on both mobile and desktop applications; Google+ users can now share the images captured during their virtual travels with their family and friend Circles.

New features include an improved search interface that will show all the relevant search results — not just the top 10 — as well as biking, transit and walking directions, Google said.

"So now, when looking for gelato in Milano, you can see all the tasty possibilities," the blog post said. "If you’re itching for a change of scenery or looking for a new route for your regular commute, you can now use Google Earth to generate and visualize all your options."