Out of curiosity I downloaded Linux Mint 18.3 (Beta) today and installed it in a virtual machine.
Again, curiosity got the better of me and I installed Google Earth using just Software Manager.
Naturally I expected the same old problems with Panoramio images, but no – it worked “out of the box”! No more special scripts to load libraries or anything like that. It’s fully functional.
Wonders will never cease?
Wonders did cease.
When I did the full install (as distinct from using a virtual machine) GE failed again. It locked on the initial screen showing the top bar, the menu and little else.
I eventually found the culprit –
Using Synaptic, remove the file xserver-xorg-video-intel
GE now works fully and properly.