See places and change your view

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

Learn how to see places up close in Street View.


See places using Google Chrome

  1. Using Google Chrome on your computer, open Google Earth
  2. Choose an action:
    • Look for a specific place: Click Search Search.
    • Move around: Click and drag with your mouse. 
    • Zoom in and out: In the bottom right, use +/- (or right click and drag the mouse). 
    • Look around your location: Hold Ctrl + click and drag the screen.

Troubleshoot places loading slowly

Sometimes, places take time to show in Google Earth. If you're waiting for a place to load, check the bottom right to see how much of the image has loaded.

To see images more quickly, try changing your memory settings:

  1. On your computer, open Google Earth.
  2. On the left, click Menu Menu and then Settings.
  3. Under "Memory cache size," choose a size:
    • To make images load more quickly, increase the cache size.
      Note: To increase the size, you’ll need a fast computer.
    • If you have a slower computer, you can lower the cache size and make images load more slowly.
      Note: This may make Google Earth run more smoothly.
  4. Click Save.

Change the view

  • Switch between top-down view and orbiting 3D view: In the bottom right, click 3D 3D. If you are already in 3D view, you’ll see 2D instead.
  • Face North: In the bottom right, click the compass. Double-click the compass to make it bigger. Then, click and drag the compass to tilt or rotate the screen.
  • Fly to your current location: In the bottom right, click My Location My location.
  • Rotate the map: On the bottom right, double-click the compass. Then, click and drag the compass edges to rotate the screen.
  • Tilt the map: On the bottom right, double-click the compass. Then, click and drag the center of the compass to tilt up and down.
  • Return to the default Google Earth view: In the bottom right, click the globe. To move across the world, zoom in then click and drag the globe.

Choose how much info to see

  1. At the top, click Menu Menu.
  2. Click 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.
    • Custom: Choose which features you want to see when you use Google Earth.

Nearby places of interest

To see 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, see the full legend.
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