A Guide to Google Earth 6

Google Earth is one of Google’s most exciting software packages that overlaps birds-eye photography with the globe, and also includes 3D buildings and models. As such, Google Earth 6 can be a great map tool. You can download Google Earth 6 from the Google Earth website.

Getting Started with Google Earth 6:

When you first start with Google Earth 6 the first options that you really should take note of are its navigation options that you can use to zoom in and out and move north, east, south, or westwards. These options are displayed in the top right and to zoom in and out you should drag the slider bar up or down. Or you can just select the + or – options which will do the same. Above this there are navigation options to move up, down, left, or right without zooming in. Simply click on the direction arrow and you will head in that direction. If you left click on the map you can also drag your way in a specific direction.

To find specific destinations in Google Earth 6 you can use the search box at the top left of the Google Earth window. Select the fly to tab and then enter the name of destination to fly to. If there is more than one destination with that name you may have to select the specific destination from those listed. Press enter and Google Earth will then fly you to that specific destination.

Basic Tools:

Google Earth 6 has a few basic tools located in the top toolbar. These include some basic options such as add place mark option whereby you can add pins to specific destinations. Simply select the place mark option, and then pin it somewhere. You can also give it a suitable title and provide some further details if required.

The show ruler option is another good tool that is included in Google Earth. Select the show ruler option and then you can drag the ruler between two destinations to measure the distance between them in miles.

Show historical imagery is another good tool included in the main toolbar. When you select these you can change from the current imagery to older imagery. Google Earth 6 includes post-war imagery dating back to 1945. When you select this option drag the toolbar leftwards to this year to display 1945 imagery.

If you ever wondered what the Moon or Mars look like close up, then now you can gain a closer look in Google Earth 6 without any telescope required. Google Earth 6 includes imagery of the Moon and Mars as well as Earth. Select the planet option in the toolbar to switch to either the Moon or Mars. Then you can zoom in further to both of these.


On the left hand side of Google Earth, under the search box, there are the layer options. Layers are basically extra display options for Google Earth. For example, if you tick the road box then Google Earth will then highlight and display big roads such as motorways. If you tick the weather box then Google Earth will display weather conditions and regional temperatures. To add more layers to Google Earth just tick more boxes in the layers section.

3D Buildings:

One of the layer options that should be ticked is that of 3D buildings. When this layer option is selected Google Earth the displays a variety of 3D buildings. You can find most of these at the larger cities which have the most number of 3D buildings and models of some of their famous architecture. As a shortcut select the sight-seeing tour in the places section above layers, and this will then take you on a tour with 3D buildings included. The tour will take you to the Eiffel Tower, Grand Canyon, Google HQ, and St Peters along with other destinations. Google Earth 6 now also includes 3D trees as well as 3D buildings in some areas.

Street View:

One of the most exciting new additions to Google Earth 6 is that of Street View.  Street View provides street level views of streets. To move into Street View you should zoom in to the street as much of as possible. If a street view of the street is included then this should then take you to a street level view where you can move forward and back. Then to leave Street View select the option exit Street View and Google will then exit. Of you can alternate between Street View and ground level view in Google Earth by selecting the ground level view option next to exit Street View.

This covers most of the main options and tools that are included within Google Earth 6. There are of course still quite a few more options and tools that are not mentioned here. For further details take note of Google Earth’s beginner, advanced, and 3D building tutorials at the Google Earth website.