The Overview Map window feature displays an additional view of the earth with a position indicator that corresponds to the current view inside the 3D viewer. In the following example, Google Earth is positioned over the city of Paris, France. The Overview window has a cross-hair marker to indicate the position of the view in relation to the entire earth.
To show or hide the Overview Map window, do one of the following:
- Click View > Overview Map
- Click CTRL + M (PC Only)
You can use the Overview Map window to:
- Determine position of the current view relative to the entire earth
For example, if you open a KMZ file from the Google Earth Community, the 3D viewer might fly quickly to a detailed view on the earth that you are unfamiliar with. You can open the 'Overview Map' window to see the position of the current view relative to the entire earth. As you adjust the position of the 3D viewer, the indicator in the Overview map continually adjusts to reflect the current position in the 3D viewer.
- Control the motion in the 3D viewer itself
While the Overview Map window responds to position adjustments in the 3D viewer, you can also interact directly with the 'Overview Map' window itself. Double click any area within the window and both the overview display and the 3D viewer adjusts position to the point in the Overview Map window that you click. For example, if the current view is located in the United States, you can double click the African continent and both the Overview Map indicator and the 3D viewer will move to the new position.
To adjust the Overview map preferences, select Tools > Options > 3D View (Mac: Google Earth > Preferences > 3D View). Adjust the slider control in the Overview Map options to scale the Overview map from small to large.
Using the settings in the Options > 3D View tab, you can also adjust the ratio of territory displayed in the Overview Map window relative to that in the 3D viewer. This ratio has three basic elements:
- 1:infinity (default setting) - Here, the entire map of the earth is displayed in the Overview Map window regardless of the amount of territory displayed in the 3D viewer. This is shown above in the Paris example.
1:1 - The view in the Overview Map window corresponds exactly to that in the 3D viewer. As shown below, the Overview Map window now draws the bounds of the current view using a red bounding box. A small amount of the territory outside the current 3D viewer is displayed in the Overview window.
- 1:n - Here, 'n' corresponds to any number you set, multiplied by the current view. This creates a relative "zoom" factor, so that you can choose to zoom out from the current view by 10, 50, or any other factor. The example below shows the same close-up view of a Paris building with the zoom factor adjusted up to 260.