Welcome! Log in or Register

earth.google.com

  • image
£2.40 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk marketplace See more offers
41 Reviews

Google Earth puts a planet's worth of imagery and other geographic information right on your desktop. View exotic locales like Maui and Paris as well as points of interest such as local restaurants, hospitals, schools, and more.

  • Sort by:

    * Prices may differ from that shown

  • Write a review >
    How do you rate the product overall? Rate it out of five by clicking on one of the hearts.
    What are the advantages and disadvantages? Use up to 10 bullet points.
    Write your reviews in your own words. 250 to 500 words
    Number of words:
    Write a concise and readable conclusion. The conclusion is also the title of the review.
    Number of words:
    Write your email adress here Write your email adress

    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    41 Reviews
    Sort by:
    • More +
      06.08.2011 20:49
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Amazing, fasinating and useful technology

      Google Earth is another fantastic and easy to use system by the giant GOOGLE! It allows you to see satellite images of the Earth's surface, allowing users to see things like cities and houses looking down from the sky. You can travel the world with Google Earth without paying expensive airfares or getting Jet Lag its quite amazing. It uses really high tech systems like satelite imagery, aerial photographs & GIS 3D now that might sound complicated the Google Earth system is very very easy to use, just like everything else with Google. You download the software onto your laptop or desktop it'll only take a few minutes, if that and then your good to go exploring. You can now also download it FREE onto your iPhone or Blackberry, I have it on my iPhone too. Its easy to find certain places in the top left corner you have a search box you can just type in any worldwide place (almost any) and it'll bring a list of possible places and locate the one you choose. Or you can search more specific things like 'Hotels near London Heathrow airport' or 'restaurants near Manchester'. It's not just the UK though, it's worldwide try search Heraklion in Crete or Sydney Australia it has street view of almost anywhere in the world. One thing I think a lot of people do when they first get Google Earth is search for their house, yes it can also find your house, type in your street and the place it's at for example 'High Street, Manchester' and you can actually see your house and walk "virtually" down your street, its kind of creepy but also fasinating. The main part of the screen lets you see an amazing clear satelite map of where your searching for, I think it looks fantastic, its very clear and you can actually see buildings, cars & streets. You can then zoom in and out and actually see streets & buildings. It's quite amazing how clear the images are, its great as a mapping tool for directions too, me & a friend used it a few years back to find a pizza hut in London as I had forgotten how to get there. Theres a lot of other features I have not had a go of yet, I generally use it on my iPhone when I am out & about and the mobile version is a lot smaller than the desktop version but its a fantastic easy to use piece of software and I will be using it again and again.

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
    • More +
      27.02.2010 14:04
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      4 Comments

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Download if you haven't already.

      Google Earth is a piece of free, and quite frankly, highly innovative software that allows you to look at any place on Earth in remarkable detail. As with Google, it is exceptionally easy to use and so now I'm going to share a few more details with you about this. To download this, simply type Google Earth into any search engine and it'll come up with the appropriate download link. Installation takes a matter of minutes and then you are free to access any point on the planet. It can be used on PCs with an OS of Windows 2000 or above, and is also now available as a free iPhone application. ~Navigation~ If you simply want to search for a specific place then all you have to do is type in the place into the 'Search' bar and then the software will zoom you in on this location. From there, you do have the option to search for local amenities (so pubs, hotels etc)/Places of Interest- while this might not seem obviously helpful, for someone like me (transient), it is incredibly interesting! I love being able to see where places are in far-flung destinations. From this, there is also the Street View, which simply gives you the option to walk down mapped streets (did anyone else see the Google cars last year when this was being implemented?) as though you were really there. The weather option is pretty self-explanatory. It coats your up-until-now clear planet with the weather conditions that are occurring right now, so expect to see cloud cover and scattered showers (and end up sounding like a weather person, in my case). One of the nicest features of Google Earth is the Oceans feature. It pinpoints locations of importance (such as protected areas, diving areas), and in many cases, there are links to Youtube videos or photos to give us more information. I think this is a lovely feature, especially if you have environmental interests, as it gives us quick access to information that we would otherwise probably ignore. Now there is a Flight Simulator mode, in which you can fly either a Cirrus SR-22 (suitable for beginners) or a F-16 (if you're daring). You can choose from a selection of airports to land at or take off from after your plane selection. Unfortunately, it seems to work better if you have a mouse or a joystick so if, like me, you're using a laptop touch pad then it isn't as fun as it could be. By this point, you might be bored of Earth so lets move into the sky and see what features we have there! Rather than going into the layers mode, if you go into 'View' then 'Explore', you will be able to see four possible options: -Earth -Sky -Mars -Moon With the three yet unexplored places, the options of what you can do are relatively similar (obviously no street walking...yet...). The sky mode, for me, is especially interesting as it lets you see different constellations and the positions of the planets relative to us. I realise that I'm probably not doing Google Earth any justice in this review so all I can really recommend is to download and explore it. It is fantastically easy to install and use, and I think it is a 'must-have' piece of software for your computer. A final note is that it is undoubtedly one of the prettiest pieces of software I've ever used. You could simply just look at the Earth interface without selecting any of the options and be impressed with the detail gone into it. It looks stunning and for this alone, I would give it a 5 star recommendation. Thanks for reading and rating! :)

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        18.02.2010 01:02
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        1 Comment

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Download it today

        Google Earth is a brilliant programme which is free from the Google website. It allows you to see nearer any where in the world from satellite images. Google Earth is like a more advance version of Google Maps, so if yourve used Google Maps in the past you will see some very familiar features. When you first load this programme up you will see an image of the Earth, to the left of the screen there is a box where you can put the address or postcode of the place you want to view, or you can click on the image of the Earth if you know how to find the place where you want to go. Just like Google Maps there is an option to find directions to a certain location. You click the directions tab then two boxes will appear. The first one you put where you want to start your journey and the second box is where you want to finish your journey. Before I got my sat nav I planned out a 2 hour journey as it tells you the exact way to get there in writing which I just copied the directions down on a note pad and off I went. You can zoom in and out on places you want to view, there is also an option to view the area in the past by clicking on the time bar tab and you will be suprised how much some places change. In conclusion Google Earth is a very good tool to plan out your journeys or to find places your not too sure how to get to. It is also a good way to estimate how much petrol you will use as it tells you how many miles away the destination is and how long it will take you to get there.

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
        • More +
          08.02.2010 20:42
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          2 Comments

          Advantages

          Disadvantages

          a great programme

          Google Earth is a cleverly designed programme which you can download to your computer from Googles website. The programme allows you to see a satellite view from nearly anywhere in the world. There are many features within this programme. If you want to find where a certain location is you can either write the name of the place or put the postcode in and it will zoom to that location. If you want to know how to get to that location from where you are you click the tab called 'directions' and then you put your location in and then put the place where you want to go and it will tell you the exact route how to get there, how many miles away and how long it will take you to get there. This has become very handy to me in the past and managed to not get me lost. If you found a certain location and you dont want to lose where it is then you can put a mark there in the form of a drawing pin and name the location to what ever you want it to be so then you will never lose it on the map. If you are looking at a certain area then there is a time bar which you can change the date and it will show you what it looked like at that certain time which I think is very clever. In conclusion this is a very good programme and is very handy when trying to find a place. Also this is all free.

          Comments

          Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            19.01.2010 19:36
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            Google earth: the 3d globe giving you the ability to go under water, up in the mountains, or to mars

            Google Earth. Google Earth rules! Lets say it like that! No seriously Google Earth is one of the most amazing things that i have ever seen. The best thing to do when you are bored is to browse around the planet! In the streets of Tokyo and in the mountains of Peru. Google earth is also smart. You can see everything you want. Something even in 3d! And if you wanna see the Moon? What about Mars? Google got it! The pictures of mars and moon is still in a very low quality though, but anyway. Isn't it kind of cool to see the sand on moon? No matter what you say, Google Earth is a nice, useful and funny application.The coolest globe ever. There is that much else to say about it, is there? * You can also use Google maps to find places in 2d. - You can even get Google Maps on you Cell phone!

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            16.01.2010 02:25
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            --

            For inquisitive minds like mine Google Earth is a godsend - this 3D interactive globe allows you to explore the surface of the earth, moon and Mars from the very comfort of your seat back home. Sounds good, but does it work well? Downloading Google Earth is remarkably simple, but this is not surprising given that Google are in charge. You visit the website, click download and away you go. You might expect the download to be a massive one given the planetary exploration capabilities that lie within, but you will again be surprised. The download is small on account of the fact that Google Earth streams data as you go about your exploration. The premise is simple; you zoom in on anywhere in the world you want to see and, depending on where it is you can get an aerial view ranging from a blurry overview to a crystal clear picture some 30ft off the ground. The disparity between the picture quality of areas is one downside to the program. It is entirely understandable that some areas will have higher quality images than others, but we know that high quality images do exist for certain places and that these aren't used in Google Earth for whatever reason. Apart from viewing the world from above, Google Earth provides an ever expanding 3D view of the globe. You can pan the camera and explore the contours of the earth; Mount Everest looms high above the world, the grand canyon falls below your feet. The beautiful thing is that data from the seabed is also being used so you can explore the canyons of the Atlantic Ocean itself. Through the input of thousands of users, entire 3D cities rise out of the landscape; these are 3D models with photo realistic textures. One of my favourite features is Google street view. Basically a car with a camera mounted on top drove around the big cities and towns of the world and took pictures every step of the way. In this cities users can explore just as if they were on foot. One special and hidden feature allows Google Earth to become a flight simulator. There is only a simple hud and little in the way of features, but you still have the choice to fly from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world. Pins dropped around the world map provide users with interesting facts; click on the pin at the pyramids and you'll be guided to a wikipedia page full of information about it; click on a pin in the middle of New York city and you'll be provided with restaurant information and guided to a particular restaurant's online menu. When it comes to the city of Rome however, and this is of particular interest to me as an ancient historian, you have the opportunity to view an entire ancient 3D cityscape. Exploring 4th Century Rome is an absolute pleasure, but given the size of the city it can be a bit slow. Google Earth then is both an entirely practical piece of software and one that is fun to play around with. You can use it to explore an area, get directions or simply get information about nearby attractions. I particularly enjoy using the iPod Touch version with its useful finger gestures. One problem is that it is a bit resource heavy and exploring full 3D cities without any lag isn't yet possible. What is possible however is the ability to explore your planet from the comfort of your own home.

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            12.11.2009 14:56
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            One of the best things you can download of the net. Get it now!

            Google Earth was first launched around the year 2001 as a programme called EarthViewer 3D. In basic terms is is an interative globe of the entire planet earth. In 2005 it was renamed & relaunched as Google Earth & is available free to download to any computer & also as an app for I-Phones. The way the application works is by showing different photos of the planet. All taken from different focus points with differing amounts of zoom. You can enter the place that you would like to look at. You can then zoom in all the way from outer space to about 100 feet off the ground. This is pretty good if it was just famous landmarks, but it isn't. Every city, town or village on the world is on here. Want to find your house? simple! Enter your postcode hit enter. It is a lot of fun looking at your home town & the places that you recognise & visit regularly. There are also lots of other uses too. Going on holiday? Enter the hotel & look at where it is & what's around it. Visiting a city & not sure of your way around? Sometimes Google Earth is easier to use than a map. Especially is you have been there before & don't know place names but do recognise buidlings. Would I recommend it? Of course I would. It's free, simple to use, really useful & works really well. The Best Atlas or Globe available.

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            02.10.2009 21:33
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            1 Comment

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            A cool application that is fun to explore every now and again

            Google Earth is a great free application that utilises the latest satellite imagery to produce a 3D virtual world. The application itself is quite light as it uses the internet to stream the images rather than downloaded the whole virtual globe to your desktop. This makes it quite quick to download and install, and doesn't take up too much space on your hard drive. The interface of Google Earth is very simple and fairly easy to use. You can freely navigate around the globe, zooming in and out, or using the search tool you can quickly find a specific location on the map. Similar to the search on Google Map you can enter Countries, Cities or even Post Codes to find your location and the map will automatically scroll and zoom to your desired place. This happens relatively quickly but can take a while for the images to completely render. There's also a lot of handy features packed into Google Earth which are great for both navigational, educational and leisure purposes. Longitude and Latitude are displayed where ever you point the cursor so you can quickly make reference points. You can also drop label/bookmarks in places to add a note or location you know. The coolest features are actually hidden, for instance the "easter egg" of a flight simulator allows you to fly across the map and navigate from this view. The quality of Google Earth itself is great, images are extremely high quality with so much detail in all major cities. This does mean that the more you zoom in the longer it takes to load. Another problem I have with Google Earth is that the map is great for major places but when you want to explore smaller islands for instance, the zoom just doesn't go far enough before you get the grey "unavailable" pixels, hopefully they will get new imagery of these areas in the future. Overall Google Earth is a great piece of software and has a lot of potential for use in other applications and websites. It's definitely worth a quick try even if just for the novelty.

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
            • More +
              20.08.2009 20:22
              Very helpful
              (Rating)

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              A must have software.

              Tell anybody in the world 50 years ago that in 50 years time you will be able to see satellite photos of any place in the world, mars and the moon for free on a computer, and some might ask what a satellite photo is. But when they knew, people would ask what the hell you were smoking. But don't worry, it is true! Google earth allows you to visit any place on earth. Any. You can explore your home town, or where your friend lives. It is that simple. You can get a good quality photo from 50 feet up I think it is. You can see your house just as it was when the picture was taken. I am going to scotland next week, and I could check out the exact house where I was staying using a postcode. Its that simple But google earth has expanded into much more. You can now get a street view of citys, and depending where you live you might honestly see yourself walking out the house on one of the pictures. You now have the chance to look at the seafloor. I can look at the weather, and how light/dark it is in different places of the world. I can look at buildings and mountains in 3D. You can honestly do so much, it is amazing Google earth is a amazing thing, prehaps the most advanced software ever. If you do not have it, ask yourself why. Because, it is fun spinning the world around

              Comments

              Login or register to add comments
            • More +
              08.08.2009 16:32
              Very helpful
              (Rating)

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Google Earth is an amazing program which I recommend everyone downloading

              Google Earth is an amazing idea that was invented by the boffins at Google. It gives you the ability to see all over the world anytime you want, right at you computer. You can now view anywhere in the world in high resolution pictures which is, in my opinion, great! Google Earth is basically a program which shows at first shows you the earth from space in a 3D Model. From there you can then spin the earth to where you want to view and zoom in to see it in extremely good detail. Its that good you can see people walking on the streets and cars driving up and down roads. You can use this to view famous landmarks, go to famous cities or even view your own house from a birds-eye-view. Some famous cities have even got a 3D building option which gives you the ability to level out the earth so it is as if your walking down a street. Google Earth can also give you directions. You enter your postcode and enter another and it will give you the best route to take to get there. However, it can on occasion lag and become slow at loading the images. But it is showing you the entire world. Overall, Google Earth is an amazing program which I recommend everyone downloading. Also, the best thing is is that it is completely free!

              Comments

              Login or register to add comments
            • More +
              21.06.2009 23:38
              Very helpful
              (Rating)
              1 Comment

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Another fabulous piece of software from Google. Fun, Useful, and Free, what more could you ask.

              Google Earth is fast becoming like a favourite friend to me as I learn more and more about what it's useful for. The Basics: Google Earth is a free to download program which lets you zoom in to anywhere on the earth and look around. There are many different layers which you can place over your view of where ever you are looking at to assist you in whatever your task might be at the time. Using The Program: When I first started using Google Earth, I was quite impressed by the simplicity of the way it works. Whether you're someone who's used to computers (like me) or someone who's a bit of a novice (like my step dad), it's actually very useable and friendly. The first thing most people do when they go on Google Earth is to look for their own house. You can do this one of two ways, you can use the mouse and zoom in on the big part of the screen which is where the map is until you find what you are looking for (this can take a while if you start with a view of the whole globe!). Or you can use the search facility on the left hand side and put in either your address or postcode, or even just street or town. If it's not sure what you want it will offer you several alternatives that you can select from and then when you click one it will fast zoom in to it and stop giving you a perfect over view of that location. For me, I played doing this for quite a long time, finding places I knew and looking at them. Then I discovered that there were other things I could do like putting a pin into the map and marking what it was - soon the map had lots of pins... my house, my mums house, my husbands parents house, my old school, where I went on my honeymoon, where we stayed on our last holiday... you get the picture. Then I learned you could use a ruler to stretch a line and see how long something is. I mapped the distance from my home to other places as the crow flies. I even measured how long my plot where my house is from front to back! There are actually lots of other features that you don't notice at first, I mentioned layers earlier - well these are really useful, they're things like being able to turn on road names so you can see which street something is on. Being able to turn on (or off) things like places of interest and terrain and various other things (hey I'm still learning ;-) ). Oh, another feature is you can stop looking at the ground, and instead you can look at the sky as viewed from that position on the earth. Now, trust me, even if you didn't have any fascination for the stars before, this kind of makes you want to look at them. I've found myself looking at the map and then going outside to try and see if I can find certain stars in the sky, it's kind of cool when you can too. My Favourite Use for Google Earth (at the moment): Right now, I'm using Google Earth to try and find nice walks that I can manage. I can't walk too far at a time you see because I have fibromyalgia, so being able to look on here and zoom in and find somewhere that my husband and I can drive to, park, and where I can walk is brilliant. I can even zoom in close enough that I can normally tell if there are benches on the path I'm thinking of walking so I know there will be places I can stop and sit. There's another use I found for that ruler... well you can plot the path and see how far it is to walk round a certain route. It's helping me to know how far I'm managing to walk at a time which is great! Do I recommend Google Earth: Oh my yes! Look, firstly, it's free - well you can't get much cheaper than that, can you! Secondly it's really fun to play with, and thirdly it's actually really useful. My step dad likes to find fishing spots using it, I've found walks I can manage, I've even been able to use it to show my husband the area I grew up in without us leaving the house. Definitely one to install if you can.

              Comments

              Login or register to add comments
              • More +
                21.06.2009 21:00
                Very helpful
                (Rating)
                5 Comments

                Advantages

                Disadvantages

                See end of review

                Google Earth is a fantastic program made by the brilliant Google. The basic idea is that you can search the whole world through satellite images. It is great fun to use and can also be very practical as well. Like all Google products Google very easy to use and all you really need to do is search and then you can zoom in or out using the mouse. Like all Google products as well it is free! The first thing most people use it for is finding their house which is good fun and well worth doing. However some more practical uses are to see amazing things without getting off your sofa like the pyramids. Another use could be to plain a route like a Sat Nav so you know where you are going. You could even use it to see a house on the market which you may want to buy or a holiday location. As you can see this program has many excellent uses. You can now even see other planets and even under the sea. Maybe you will find aliens on Mars! The quality of the pictures is mostly very good but in some more remote areas it can be worse e.g. mountains but really it is amazing that you can see everywhere in the world! Overall Google Earth is definitely worth a download and I would rate it in the top ten free pieces of software on the internet. The only downside is that there are some worries about privacy with this and Google Street view. However Google is a fantastic company and like all their products this is free and easy to use. This review may appear on other sites under the names mariofan123 or ns1209.

                Comments

                Login or register to add comments
                • More +
                  20.06.2009 20:25
                  Very helpful
                  (Rating)
                  1 Comment

                  Advantages

                  Disadvantages

                  see the end of the review

                  Google Earth is almost undoubtedly the most powerful programme you can get on your personal pc/laptop. Google Earth allows you to zoom in on anywhere in the world and take a look around. There are also quite a few streets now that you can view multiple photographs of. This feature is called "street view" and has landed google in a lot of trouble over privacy rights etc. On Google Earth there is even the option to look at outer space, you can even zoom in on all the planets! So, lets start with the layout and ease of use. On the whole, Google Earth is quite easy to get the hang of. To be honest the only features you will be looking at at first is the search feature. The rest (zooming in, changing the camera angle and moving the camera) is all operated through your mouse. The more advanced controls like street view are also very easy to use. All you need to do is tick the street view boxes and then click on the picture links when you are searching. Street view is only one of the many features available on google earth. You can also take tours of the wonders of the world etc. Picture quality (without street view) is on the whole as good as it can be. There is a limit to the quality due to privacy rights. Generally you can zoom in to a house and still see quite clearly. However, in more remote places like ski resorts etc. The picture quality can be very poor. To the point that you can't recognise a hotel. Although on the whole it is very good, you have to remember that they did have to do pictures for the whole worl so not everywhere is going to be perfect. So on the whole, google earth is well worth downloading. Especially since it is free, just type into google google earth download and you can get it there. I strongly recommend this programme, very possibly the best programme this decade. The only downside is that it needs internet access to run, but I suppose otherwise it would take up loads of memory.

                  Comments

                  Login or register to add comments
                  • More +
                    19.06.2009 10:37
                    Very helpful
                    (Rating)
                    1 Comment

                    Advantages

                    Disadvantages

                    Around the world in 80 minutes!

                    The World is your Oyster with Google Earth. When I first heard about this, I couldn't see the sense of it. But as it's my job to teach people about IT, and I kept on being asked by my students how to install it, I thought I'd better check it out. It is no exaggeration to say it it blew me away! The absolute beauty of the opening interface showing you the earth in a dark blue space. Then you start to use the controls, so you can tilt the earth in any direction you like. You can see the earth from any vantage point. Then you can explore the entire earth. When it first went live, all things American were crystal clear, but some other places were a foggy haze. This has largely been sorted out on successive sweeps of the earth. The images are so clear now that a lot of people are worried about security issues. Once you get the hang of it, you can either type names of places or map co-ordinates into the search box and watch Google Earth do it's magic. It will swoop in and land with the precision of an airline pilot. you can even put a post code in and it will pinpoint the very building you are looking for, and come to rest over aunty Mary's house. There are some places that you can apply a 3D viewpoint to. This is good for monuments. You can have a go at making your own 3D contribution at http://sketchup.google.com/. Members have uploaded photos of different places so you can see what they look like, because remember, when you fly in you are mainly getting an aerial view (looking down). When you find what you are looking for you can label it (Our House) for instance! Google earth really opens your eyes. You can explore the Oceans or Outer Space. You can stay on earth and, if you can't actually go to a place you want to see, go by Google. Visit the Taj Mahal and the Pyramids. Look down on the Wiltshire White Horses and the Nasca Lines. Climb Mount Everest and Machu Picchu. Live a little!

                    Comments

                    Login or register to add comments
                    • More +
                      15.06.2009 13:04
                      Very helpful
                      (Rating)
                      6 Comments

                      Advantages

                      Disadvantages

                      ultimate in exploration software

                      Google Earth is, possibly, the most amazing piece of software I have encountered in the last 10 years: the wow factor is amazing and its capabilities beggar belief. It also happens to be very useful for many purposes. I will not even attempt to write anything like a complete review/description of the package here, but instead I will tell you what I use or used it for. Please also note that new functionalities and changes to old ones are added all the time. What is Google Earth? Technically speaking, it's "a virtual globe program which maps the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS 3D globe". Imagine seeing the Earth (there is also the sky view, and the Moon, but I will leave them for now) as a globe, floating (or rather hanging) in space. You can see the continents, the country borders, different colours of land, sea and ice. There are mouse controls that allow you to zoom in, travel in four directions and rotate the globe (the default has, obviously, North at the top). As you zoom in, map features appear: more country borders, names of places, details of locations. As you zoom closer, you can see buildings (or rather their roofs), smaller landscape features and even cars parked in driveways (the detail available varies depending on location, and generally urban locations have much higher resolution than rural ones). The sculpture of the terrain is simulated so when you change the angle of view you can see the mountains raising above the horizon. The map detail can be added so you can see street names and building numbers. There are photos of every conceivable location and links to wikipedia (and multitude of other sources) entries. Local information, from tourist attractions to hospitals and schools is available. In some places the 3D models of buildings are added so you can see the shapes not just roofs of Tokyo skyscrapers and London landmarks. "Street View" allows you to literally enter panormaic photographs of locations (this is being slowly roleld out hroughout the globe, UK is not yet completely covered at the time of writing) and walk around neighbourhoods (all faces of people and numberplates of cars are blurred to preserve privacy). Mind boggles and mouth opens in awe, as I said. But Google Earth is much more than just a fancy globe with add-ons. It's also genuinely useful. (1) It can be used in the same way Google Maps is used: to find locations (just type it in the search box and the program will fly you there), to find driving distances and directions and to locate businesses and organisations. All these basic functions are available from the first menu box on the left. Now, to be perfectly honest I don't think there is much point in using Google Earth if all you want to do is find where 15 High Street is and how to get there from 28 Lower Station Road or to locate a pub near where you are staying on holiday. Google Maps does it just as well, and it takes much less resources (GE uses masses of processing power and you need a fair amount of CPU and RAM to operate it well and without crashing). Still, it's a very useful function when researching other subjects as a part of a bigger picture. Plus, it saves your visited places during a session so you can come back to them easily and allows you to insert your own permanent placemarks for locations you are likely to want to use again and again. I stuck those placemarks in all places I have lived in the last 15 years or so just to remind myself! (2) The additional layers of Google Earth combine with the main mapping layer to provide incredible amount of information literally at your fingertips. From road numbers to business addresses, weather info to places of interest, and, particularly useful for me, Street View photos; links to Wikipedia entries and Panoramio (a user provided, but Google-screened database of photos which are brilliant for anybody who is for example deciding on a holiday destination). I used Google Earth and the Panoramio photos to research and choose final destinations for our last two holidays to places we have never visited before (western Ireland and Algarve in Portugal) and found it invaluable for that purpose. There is even a whole big section on weather, from hurricane warning systems to current temperature data. (3) You can also download numerous user-generated overlays. I have been interested in wind farm developments, and found one that shows locations and data of all existing, being developed and planned wind farms in Scotland. (4) On the main screen, Google Earth has several very useful tools, of which my favourite is the ruler: a simple mouse-operated tool which allows me to quickly measure distances as the crow flies, both in straight line and in path fashion. I have used it numerous times for all kinds of purposes, from getting a rough idea of how many thousand miles a planned trip accords Europe and Asia would cover to measuring a width of a particular road and an area of parks. (5) While navigating the map with a mouse, you get precise information on latitude and longitude of every point (I used this function to determine the exact position of the middle point of the Old Trafford football ground! You also get information on elevation, which, in combination with the ruler function, can be useful if you want to for example calculate the gradient of a particular hill or a road. This is just a very quick overview of what Google Earth can provide. Depending on your particular needs, you might find yourself using it for all kinds of purposes. There is also a vibrant community of users that has grown around the Google Earth and provides all kinds of added content. If you haven't yet got hooked on Google Earth, Do! Download it, use it, play with it and you are sure to enjoy it! The biggest disadvantage is that you need quite a bit of processing power and RAM (and - obvioulsy- pretty fast broadband connection) to operate the program.

                      Comments

                      Login or register to add comments