Google updated their “Earth” software yesterday. There were a number of improvements made, including a redesigned interface to help navigate the globe.
You can see the difference in the images and video below, or better yet, go use it.
The new design incorporates the compass into the widget. It was easy to get disoriented before with the compass and rotate tool being disassociated. Because the map can be manipulated by dragging and keyboard actions the widget is really secondary. They did a nice job of making it a secondary item that only expands on hover, rather than taking up valuable screen real-estate even when not in use.
The old widget resides at the bottom of the application taking up real estate.
Another interesting part of this tool is the directional jog. It allows 360° spanning without having to use a click and drag method which requires a ton of mouse movement.