Your Complete Guide to Google Earth, Google’s Best Time-Washing Tool
Google’s multitude of apps includes real bangers, from Google Docs to Google Calendar, all tuned to work on all devices and in tandem via a Google Account. But one of the coolest apps is Google Earth.
Google Earth feels like a mix between a mapping app and an educational tool, letting you do some really cool things with a rendering of the globe.
What can you do with Google’s 3D world exploration tool, I hear you ask? Well, let’s explain.
What is Google Earth?
Google Earth is a 3D program for viewing the Earth using satellite images. It can be used on a browser, via a smartphone application or via a computer application.
It’s a fairly advanced program that captured most of the planet, giving you the entire Earth to explore based on satellite and aerial photographs, overlaid on a 3D model.
Today, the application is particularly advanced, showing 3D renderings of certain buildings and displaying clickable landmarks.
What about Google Street View?
One of the app’s main features is Google Street View, which is technically a separate app. Google Street View takes you to a street-level view of the world, letting you navigate roads where a 360-degree camera used to be. Functionally, it fits quite well into the Earth/Maps ecosystem.
It’s really good if you want to explore a place before going somewhere, but it’s also good for a little laugh.
What cool things can Google Earth do?
At the most basic level, Google Earth lets you type in an address and navigate to it on a 3D model. Although I described it like that, it’s a bit different from Google Maps. For one thing, unlike Google Maps, it’s not meant to be a navigation tool.
Google Earth is more of a discovery tool, with features designed to highlight and showcase regions of the world.
From the top, as with Google Maps, there are tags for landmarks such as museums and town halls, but you can turn it into a photo discovery tool by enabling the “Photos” setting, collecting photos taken by the user.
Additionally, you can click the “Travel” button to experience app highlights (or play quizzes), or click the “I’m lucky” dice button to get picked up somewhere in the chance.
If you have Google Earth Pro, which is the desktop version, you can play with the built-in flight simulator by clicking Tools > Enter Flight Simulator.
Are Google Earth and Google Maps the same thing?
No, they are not the same. As we said earlier, Google Earth is more of an educational tool, meant for if you want to visit and explore an area from a satellite view. Google Maps, on the other hand, is a navigation tool meant to help you get around from one place to another.
Can I use Google Earth without downloading it?
Since 2017, Google Earth is perfectly usable via a browser, however the professional desktop version uses more system resources than a browser, and has more features (like the flight simulator).
Is Google Earth online?
No, it’s not live. It is made up of satellite and aerial images captured over time, dating back several years. Some images are older than others, which is why some Street View images will be fall on one street and summer on another.
Can I see a live satellite view of my home on Google Earth?
While you can probably see your house on the app, you can’t see it live. The photo of your house is probably a few years old, and if it’s a new property, it probably hasn’t even been taken yet.
Go have fun with Google Earth.