Google Earth hits one billion downloads, those with fear of flying still getting virtual kicks

In a feat that outdoes even Dr. Evil's vision of worldwide domination, the folks in Mountain View have reported a staggering one billion downloads of Google Earth. Over the years, the service has taken us around the world, giving us a peak into amazing and sometimes obscure places ranging from the bottom of the ocean to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. It's also evolved from its humble beginnings as a desktop app back in 2005 to include a mobile app and a plug-in, not to mention a 3D flight simulation used with Google Maps -- all features that helped it reach the astronomical milestone. For that, we salute you Google Earth. Check out the celebratory video after the break.