Google Earth power user tips

Measuring distances and checking on the position of the sun are just some features in the free application

By selecting the weather layer on Google Earth users can see real time radar, clouds and temperatures on the virtual globe.

By selecting the weather layer on Google Earth users can see real time radar, clouds and temperatures on the virtual globe.

Google Earth users can do more than just fly around a virtual globe. The free mapping application can display real-time weather, help compose photographs and measure distances much more easily than its Maps cousin.

To see a video version of this how-to, watch a video on YouTube.

In a recent update, Google provided 3D building information for many cities. The option can be turned on in the layers panel in the bottom left corner. Sometimes the 3D information will take longer to load and render depending on connectivity.

One of the useful features of the application allows photographers to see the position and strength of the sun. Click on the sun icon in the top toolbar and use the slider to change the date and time. Users can see the sun move across the sky and cast shadows on the landscape. Clicking on the wrench icon in the slider panel allows users to set the date and time, which is sometimes more efficient than using the slider. The tool doesn't account for weather, but can be useful to plan photo shoots or other activities dependent on daylight.

By clicking on the clock icon users can view archived map data from decades ago. Some areas will have more archived images than others and most images in the 1990s are in black and white and are low quality.

Measuring distances can be done by clicking on the ruler in the top toolbar and clicking point to point. Units of measure can be changed in the box that appears when the ruler is selected.

Nick Barber covers general technology news in both text and video for IDG News Service. E-mail him at Nick_Barber@idg.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickjb.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags applicationsGooglesoftware

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nick Barber

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?