What are you talking about…
Google Earth is a program that allows you to view the most varied images of our planet, including natural landscapes, buildings and even streets directly on the computer.
All the geographic content is made with images made by satellite, bringing the faithful representation of how certain points of the terrestrial surface are.
The visualization is done in a virtual globe, where you can access anywhere in the world to get information about the cities and their terrain characteristics. In the same way, you can also explore the sky, the ocean or even visit the Moon and the planet Mars.
By opening Google Earth for the first time, the amount of tools in the program can make it look more complex than it actually is. Basically, the screen is divided into two parts. On the left side, the search, place display, and app galleries are available.
On the right side, you find the globe itself, a small toolbar and commands for navigation. To move a point on the map, you can "drag" with the mouse to the desired location (no direction limitation). If you want to use the zoom tool, simply move the mouse scroll (up to move away or down to zoom in).
As an alternate form, you can use the command on the screen at the top right of the globe. The first tool (which has the drawing of an eye) is unique to the visualization, and you can "drag" the "N" present on it to set the north or move the circle to change the direction in which you are viewing a certain point.
The second tool, with the symbol of a "little hand", is used to move the map by clicking on the little tiles available on it. Just below, there is a scrollbar that increases or decreases the zoom.
Find a region or get a roadmap
If you want to explore a specific city, it is often easier to find it using the search engine than by "dragging" the image to the desired region. To do this, simply type the desired place in the field at the top left of the screen and click on "Search".
Once this is done, the map is moved until you reach the requested location. The field accepts from a specific address to just the name of the city, state or country you want, for example. In addition, you can also find specific companies or services by entering the name of the establishment or a keyword and region (like "pizza in Curitiba").
On the left side of the system, you can also calculate a route between two points by clicking "Get routes". Once you have done this, simply enter the starting address in the first field, the destination field in the second field and click the available button. Then your route is automatically displayed on the map with the directions to follow. This course is also detailed in writing on the left side of the screen to help you understand the directions you have encountered.
Accessing Street View and Ground Level
Google Street View is the service that shows the city through photos taken by cars, drones, bikes, motorcycles, backpacks and other special gadgets. In addition to having access to these photos over the internet, you can also open them directly in Google Earth. This service is not available for all regions, so the first step to access it is to find the location you want.
Next, make sure the yellow puppet that represents Street View appears on the right side of the screen. If so, simply "drag" it to the point of the map you want to view in detail. Once this is done, the preview is immediately modified, displaying the map of the region through the photos collected by Google.
While the program is connected to Street View, you can switch between the ground level view and the observation of photos, allowing for more detailed recognition of each region of the city you are exploring. It's worth remembering that for visualizing 3D constructions you must confirm the "3D Constructions" layer selection at the bottom left of the screen.
To use this function, you must have the "Tour to the sights" folder in the left panel of the screen selected. Once you have done this, just below the map are shown several tourist attractions from different regions. Here, there is no secret: just click on any of them so that it is immediately opened on the map.
In celebration of Google Earth's 10-year existence, Search Engine has implemented some new features to the program. All of them basically sum up the resource known as Voyager, which has the mission of facilitating the exploration of the most different places on the planet.
In certain places, you can use Street View to go through inner areas of buildings, being able to visit museums, theaters, memorials and more without leaving your chair. More than that, it is possible to fly over the main cities of the world looking at them with a three-dimensional perspective - content that consists of images with photorealistic aspects.
And that's not all. With Voyager, you can quickly identify which areas of the globe have had their satellite captures recently published or updated.
But the most visually appealing feature, without a doubt, is the "Google Earth View". The tool provides mechanisms for you to discover lush landscapes on all continents and oceans. In all, there are more than 1,500 images specially captured for this feature, including beach, deserts, mountains, forests and cities.
Different from the other functions mentioned above, this can be viewed directly from the Google Earth online page ( click here to access it) or through an add-on to Google Chrome - an extension that can be downloaded here .
Visit the Moon and Mars
When you use Google Earth, know that your experiences do not have to be limited to our planet. Notice that there is a button in the toolbar of the program with the icon of a planet. By clicking on it, there are places you can observe (Earth, sky, Mars and Moon) and to change the exploration to another surface, just select it. Once this is done, your new map is loaded onto the screen, and the display mechanism is very similar to the one that would appear if you were looking at the globe of planet Earth.
Sharing the results
Have you discovered a different place or an interesting feature in your city and want to share it with your friends? Google Earth lets you share everything that appears on the map directly with your Google+ circles. The first step to this is to log in to your account on the social network.
Then just access the desired content in Google Earth and click the "Share" button in the upper right corner of the viewer. There, you can either email it or post it to your wall on Google+.
Google Earth is a powerful information tool, updated fairly often, but still does not seem to be very popular out there. Google is aware of this and has been making efforts to promote its platform. The newest attack is very good and bets on an icon of the past: a game that uses the interface itself from Chrome , Android and iOS to find superladra Carmen Sandiego.
"Where in Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego" was produced in collaboration with the publisher Houghton Mifflin Hartcourt, creator of the classic "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego", which, from the mid 80's, became a reference in titles of mysteries in the Apple II and early IBM PCs.
Our opinion about Google Earth
Google Earth is a great way for you to view the images of our planet directly on your desktop. It has both a view of topographical issues and the geography of a particular region as well as a more level-of-view of maps and streets within a city, including integration with Google Street View.
Although the program may seem intimidating at first, especially given the large number of tools available, after some time of use you already realize that it is much simpler than it seems. The main options are displayed in the form of buttons or controls, directly in the viewing area, to make it easier to find them.
Similarly, on the left-hand side of the screen, both search space and other tools are well organized, making even those who have never used the program find it difficult to do so. The ground level or Street View display functions are also easily accessed.
That's because you just have to zoom in on the map and use the familiar Google Maps doll, which will certainly bring familiarity to anyone using the app. Integration with Google+ is also another interesting feature for anyone who uses the social network and likes to explore regions of the planet and share them with their friends.
Beyond the limits of the planet
Another positive aspect is the possibility of visualizing the Moon and the planet Mars. This way, in addition to being able to "walk" through any part of the globe, it is also possible to reach places that would be practically impossible to "pay a visit" to. The roadmap tool is also identical to the one in Google Maps, and it's very intuitive.
The negative point of the program is due to its weight. Because it has many different functions and modes of visualization, it ends up requiring a lot of resources from your computer. That's why machines with slightly less graphics power can have a hard time getting everything done by Google Earth.
Even so, the application does not lose its charm and is a great alternative for those who like to explore territories, to know new places or to better see the attractions of their city.
Pro & Cons
- Visualization of seas and oceans
- Recording videos with tours
- Visualization of the Moon, Mars and the constellations
- Integration with Street View and Maps
- Demanding in terms of hardware