Use Viewshed to see a placemark’s surroundings

Explore 360-degree views of an area for building locations, real estate evaluations, advertisement placement, and other business planning with Viewshed. Viewshed is not designed for scientific precision and isn’t intended to be used as a definitive data source.

Viewshed highlights everything in your line of sight from a placemark’s location:

  • Higher elevations often display greater visible areas.
  • If your results don’t look correct, your altitude might be too low or your placemark might be inside a building. Try increasing your altitude, then click Show Viewshed again.
  • To include 3D models or layers that you connect to or upload, connect to the Google Maps Engine terrain layer.

See 360-degrees around a placemark

  1. Select a placemark. Then, right-click the placemark.
  2. Click Get Info and then Altitude and adjust the altitude so that it's at least approximately two meters above the surface, then click OK.
  3. From either the "Edit" menu or the placemark’s right-click menu, select Show Viewshed.

Visible areas are highlighted green and non-visible areas are gray.

Other ways to explore a placemark’s area

To verify that the viewshed is what you expected, you can use other tools.

  1. Select a placemark. Then, right-click the placemark.
  2. Click Properties and then View (Windows) or Get Info and then View (Mac).
  3. Edit the LongitudeLatitude, Tilt, and Range fields.
    • Longitude and Latitude: 0 is north. 90 is east. 180 is south. 270 is west.
    • Tilt is the tilt of the camera.
    • Range is the distance from the placemark to the camera, in the direction of the tilt.
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