See places and change your view

You can use Google Earth to travel the world and explore new places. You’ll see exotic cities, landmarks in 3D, and buildings up close. 

Learn how to see places up close in Street View.


See places 

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. Choose an action:
    • Look for a specific place: Tap Search Search.
    • Move around: Use one finger to tap and drag the screen. 
    • Zoom in and out:  Pinch the screen. To zoom with one finger, double tap and hold, then slide your finger up or down. 
    • Fly to your current location: Tap More and then My Location.

Turn on latitude & longitude gridlines  

You can turn on gridlines to learn about geographic coordinates and get your approximate location on the Earth’s surface.

You can also see the 5 major circles of latitude (Equator, Arctic Circle, Antarctic Circle, Tropic of Cancer, and Tropic of Capricorn), and the Prime Meridian.

  1. Using Google Chrome on your computer, open Google Earth.

  2. On the left, tap Map Style Map Style.

  3. Turn on Enable Gridlines.

Show 3D imagery

You can use “Enable 3D Buildings” to turn 3D buildings and trees on or off. Turning off 3D buildings may show newer imagery and increase overall performance of Google Earth.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. Tap Map Style Map Style.
  3. Turn Enable 3D buildings on or off. 

Change the view

  • Switch between top-down view and orbiting 3D view: Zoom in on the map. On the left side of the screen, tap 3D 3D. If you are already in 3D view, this icon will say 2D instead.
  • Face North: At the bottom, tap the compass.
  • Tilt the map: Use two fingers to tap and drag the screen.
  • Rotate the map: Tap and move two fingers around each other on the screen.

Choose how much info to see

  1. In the top left, tap Menu Menu.
  2. Tap Map Style Map Style.
  3. Choose a view:
    • Clean: Imagery only -- no borders, labels or roads.
    • Exploration: Imagery plus most places of interest, like borders, labels, and roads.
    • Everything: All of the above plus landmarks, businesses, public transit, and more.

Troubleshoot places loading slowly

Sometimes, places take time to show in Google Earth. To see Earth images on your device more quickly, try changing your image quality settings. You can decide if you want the images to load more quickly or more clearly. If you're waiting for a place to load, check the bottom left to see how much of the image has loaded.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. Tap Menu Menu and then Settings Settings and then Quality Settings.
  3. Choose a setting:
    • To increase the loading speed, choose a faster setting.
    • To improve the clarity, choose a higher setting.

Nearby places of interest

To find places of interest, look for mini-pins that show you nearby locations. Places of interest make up different categories, including:
Food and drink
Food Wine Bar or pub Cafe 
Shopping Grocery
Outdoor attractions:
Camping Golf Zoo Park Mountain
Emergency services:
Pharmacy Medical aid Red Cross Red Crescent Red Shield of David 
City services:
Police School Restroom Post Office Library
To learn more about the mini-pins and what they represent, find the full legend.
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