Get more out of Google Earth

If you have a question or want to save time when using Google Earth, check out these tips and lesser-known tools.

Important: These tips are only for Google Earth web and mobile. They don’t include Google Earth Pro.

Use Earth on multiple browsers

As of March 2020, you can now use Earth on various web browsers. This includes Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Edge with support for more browsers on the way.

System requirements for Google Earth

  • iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
  • iOS version 11.0 or later

Allow notifications on your iPhone or iPad

Notifications on your iPhone or iPad only appear for a moment. To find the notifications and messages again, swipe down from the top of the screen.

To keep Google Earth notifications on your screen until you dismiss them, change your notification settings.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open your settings.
  2. Tap Notifications.
  3. Tap Google Earth and then Banner style and then Persistent.

Try newer Google Earth features

Discover Timelapse in Google Earth

Take a time-lapse video tour of our world to understand how the planet has changed over time.

You can observe changes from 1984 to the present in:

  • Stories that show global changes and explain their causes
  • Curated imagery from featured locations around the world
  • All your favorite places on the planet

Open Timelapse in Google Earth

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. At the top, tap Voyager Voyager.
  3. Tap Layers and thenTimelapse in Google Earth.

 Learn how to use Timelapse in Google Earth.

Turn on 3D imagery

3D imagery is shown by default, but you can use the Map Style  Map Style feature to choose between 2D and 3D modes based on your preference. To switch between 3D and 2D buildings:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. In the top left, tap Map style Map Style.
  3. Under "Enable on 3D buildings," click to turn it "on" or "off" based on your preference. A blue switch indicates that 3D buildings are turned on.

Tip: If 2D mode is activated, it may surface newer imagery in some regions. To get the newest imagery possible, turn on 2D mode. The 2D mode may also improve overall app performance.

Learn about other helpful Earth features

Turn on Animated Clouds
You can watch the last 24 hours of cloud coverage in a looped animation. Cloud data is updated when new data is available, which is usually every hour.
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. Tap Map style Map Style.
  3. Scroll and tap Turn on Animated Clouds.
Tip: Google Earth shows stationary clouds by default. Animated clouds fade and then disappear when you zoom in.

Change Dark mode settings

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. On the left, tap Menu Menu and then Settings Settings.
  3. Tap “Application theme,” and select Dark or Light.
Change your flight speed
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. Tap Menu Menu and then Settings Settings.
  3. To change your flight speed, tap Flight animation speed.
Change units of measurement
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. Tap Menu Menu and then Settings Settings.
  3. To switch between meters/kilometers and feet/miles, tap Units of measurement.
Change how longitude and latitude are displayed
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. Tap Menu Menu and then Settings Settings.
  3. To change between Degrees, Minutes, Seconds or Decimals, tap Latitude/Longitude formatting.
Load map imagery faster
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. Tap Menu Menu and then Settings Settings.
  3. To change your graphic settings, tap Rendering quality.

 

Related resources

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