HOW GOOGLE EARTH WORKS
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How does Google Earth work?
Most people, especially savvy Internet users, have been
using programs such as MapQuest for years now. And technology has become so
advanced that many portable GPS systems are available and found in many cars
these days. Mapping technology has been one of those practical technological
breakthroughs that have converted even the most computer illiterate users to
find their way around new towns and areas with ease, and branch out to other
forms of using the Internet. These programs have become commonplace today but
Google has managed to do it again and take this kind of mapping technology to a
whole new level. They’ve done this with a little program they call Google Earth.
Google Earth works much like other mapping programs
do. You can type in just about any address in the world and you will see in just
a few seconds where it is located, get driving directions from any other
location in the world, and get a listing of the main attractions surrounding the
area. But Google Earth does so much more! Simply by choosing different views,
you can look at an address as though you were standing right outside the door of
it. Or you can switch views and get a satellite look of the address.
But it won’t simply open up in a new window. Google
Earth will actually fly you through the distance while you are switching views.
This is not only a very cool feature because you get to feel like Superman for a
moment as you fly from a suburban neighborhood to outer space, but it can also
be a great help with driving directions. By doing a simple directions search,
Google Earth will fly you through the actual route you will take. So you won’t
get only a simple drawing with lines for certain roads and directions to go
‘left’ or ‘right.’ You will actually see yourself making all the turns and
passing landmarks. It’s a preview of what you’ll be doing so when you get there,
it’s all familiar to you!
All of these exciting features are just scratching
the surface of Google Earth. Not only can you get real-life views of just about
any location in the world, but you can also take a trip to outer space and hop
among the different constellations. Add to this that, with the exception of the
views of space, Google Earth doesn’t use drawings and illustrations in their
mapping software. Every picture you see will be an actual picture of the area.
So looking at it will be just like looking back at the pictures you took while
on vacation. Real buildings, real streets, and even real mailboxes! It’s all in
Google Earth! Add to this that you can customize any of these features so Google
Earth will work specifically for what you need and Google Earth really does have
it all. But the very best feature that Google Earth has to offer is that it’s
completely free through a simple Internet download! So, how does it all work
Anyone who has an Internet connection has free and
complete access to Google Earth. It’s available in the form of a desktop
application at Earth.Google.com. Because it’s so advanced and only growing more
and more every day, Google Earth is surely not going to be available for free
forever. And of course, there’s also a more advanced version that does come at a
small cost to users. The version that can be purchased has many more features
than the free version but most users will probably feel as though they get as
much out of it as they need using the free download.
The first step in using Google Earth is to type in
any location into Google Earth’s search engine. With just a click of the mouse,
Google Earth will bring up an actual photograph of the location that you typed
in. While this in itself is impressive, using the layers available in Google
Earth will make it even more so. Turn on different layers to see where gas
stations are located, dining locations, hotels, malls, roads, schools, and just
about anything that you could be looking for in and around that neighborhood.
Turn on the roads layer and you’ll get a full view of the roads for that area,
making driving around it much easier. Zoom out to see a broader area of the
location, great for traveling to and from the location or just seeing what lies
outside the location. And of course you’ll also get a fully highlighted drawing
as well as written driving directions so users can use the software very easily.
Plus there are so many customized views and different options that you can look
at the area however you want! While these features certainly are impressive,
they are little more than what other mapping applications offer. So what has set
Google Earth apart, turning it from simple mapping technology to a favorite
pastime and hobby?
The feature of video flyovers is just one. If you
want to travel from California to New York, it won’t simply open up directions
in a new window. It will virtually fly you through space, in and around all the
neighborhoods from coast to coast. Playing the video will give you this fly
through experience but at the bottom of the screen there are also step by step
driving directions that you can flip through and scroll through at your own
The 3D views that Google Earth will provide you
with are also not something that will be found on other mapping software. Google
Earth will find any location you want and draw up for you a digital 3D drawing
of the buildings surrounding the area. This means that if you want to visit
Manhattan when you get to New York, you can get a glimpse of just how huge those
skyscrapers are before you even step foot on the island! Tilt and turn the views
any way you want using the accompanying Google SketchUp software and the city is
virtually at your fingertips. These 3D views are some of the few pictures found
in Google Earth that aren’t actual photographs. These are illustrations and
drawings but they are close enough to the real thing to give you the general
What makes Google Earth even more spectacular is
that it brings historical global sites and world famous attractions right to
your computer screen. So whether you’ve always wanted to see what Disneyland
looks like, wanted to stand outside the Eiffel Tower, or get an up close look at
the Vatican, Google Earth makes it all possible. But this is all while we’re
still traveling on Earth. Google Earth goes above and beyond even its own name
by including the feature of Google Sky.