How to use Google Earth in a browser

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Philippe Gloaguen

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Google Earth is available as a desktop app and a mobile app, but what if you want to use Google Earth in a browser?

Google Earth is a fantastic tool that allows you to explore the world from the comfort of your home. While it's available as a desktop and mobile app, you can actually use Google Earth right in your web browser.

We'll show you how to use it online without downloading it, then highlight some of its best features.

How to use Google Earth in a browser

Accessing Google Earth in your browser is incredibly simple. It's great because you don't have to download anything and you can use it on any computer. Just go on.

At first, Google Earth was only available through the company's Chrome browser. However, as of March 2020, you can now access in more browsers such as Firefox, Opera and Edge. Check if your browser is up to date, but this should happen automatically.

You will need to enable hardware acceleration in your browser before you can use Google Earth. It is likely that it is already enabled.

To double check in Chrome:

  • Inserisci chrome: // settings / in the address bar.
  • In the left menu, click Advanced .
  • Select System .
  • Enable Use hardware acceleration when available .

How to navigate Google Earth in a browser

You may feel a little overwhelmed when you first launch Google Earth, looking at the entire globe.

To start, click and drag the globe to make it spin. Here pressed Shift at the same time and the view will tilt. Therefore, scroll the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Alternatively, you can use icons more e less bottom right.

As you get closer to Earth, you will see the names of the countries appear. Click these to open an information window about that location, which you can also click to expand. This same functionality applies locally for things like cities, landmarks, and parks.

To go to a specific place, click the search icon on the left. You can search by place name, address, longitude and latitude and more generally.

Keyboard shortcuts for Google Earth in a browser

As you become familiar with Google Earth, you can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate faster. Here are some of the most useful:

  • - Show a list of keyboard shortcuts
  • / – fence
  • Page up / down - Zoom in / zoom out
  • Arrow keys : move the view
  • Shift + arrow keys : rotate the view
  • O - Switch between 2D and 3D view
  • R - Reset the view
  • Spazio - Stop the movement

The best features of the Google Earth browser

Google Earth is packed with great features. Here are some of the best you should try.

Take a virtual tour with Voyager

Voyager is the name of a feature that allows you to take virtual tours. Google calls them “map-based stories,” which you can progress at your own pace as you explore places and discover information.

Some of the tours you can take include Indian railways and the history of volcanoes. There are also interactive quizzes to test your knowledge on topics like animal calls and archaeological sites.

To access Voyager, click rudder icon to the left. This will open the Voyager overlay so you can select your tour.

Explore the world in 3D

While it's all good to explore the planet in a flat top view, Google Earth can go a step further so you can control things in 3D.

You can see if this feature is enabled. Click Map Style icon on the left and enable Activate 3D buildings . While you are here, you may also want to enable the awesome feature Activate animated clouds .

3D isn't available everywhere, only where Google has acquired the high-detail imagery it needs. It is more likely to be available in high population areas or for noteworthy landmarks.

To view somewhere in 3D, press and hold Shift e click and drag to change the perspective.

If you want to quickly switch back and forth between 3D and 2D, press the button O . Alternatively, click the button 3D at the bottom right, which you can click again to return to 2D .

Create a project

Projects are a way to collect places, along with text, photos, and videos, to build a personalized presentation, story, or map.

To get started, click the Projects icon left, then up Create> Create project in Google Drive . You will need to log into your Google account if you are not already. First, click Untitled project to enter a name for your project and also a description if you wish.

Then, click New function and choose from options such as Search to add a place , Add placeholder , Draw line or shape e Full screen slide . Feel free to experiment with these features as you can easily add and remove them.

You can also insert elements into your project as you explore Google Earth. All you have to do is click on the button Add to project that appears in the information boxes.

Finally, you can invite others to view and collaborate on projects. To do this, with the Projects pane open, click on the icon Share project above.

How to change Google Earth settings

You may want to customize Google Earth settings to change animations, adjust measurement units, and more.

To do this, click menu icon a sinistra e fai click su Settings . The settings are divided by headers Animations , Display settings , Format and unit e General Settings .

If your computer is having trouble viewing Google Earth correctly, you should disable it Activate animation on the fly and reduce the memory cache size .

Google will automatically determine your preferred format and units based on your location. However, you can manually change both unit of measure that the latitude / longitude formatting .

If you change the settings and want them to go back to how they used to be, just click Restore default settings at the bottom of the window.

How often is Google Earth updated?

Now that you know how to use Google Earth in your browser, it's time to explore every corner our beautiful planet has to offer.

You may also wonder how often Google Earth is updated. Just look at the information bar below to see when the images you are viewing have been captured. The more significant a place is, the more likely it is that it will be updated regularly.

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