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

  • Google Chrome 67, Firefox 63, Edge 79, or Safari 11.
  • Make sure that you turn on hardware acceleration.
To turn on hardware acceleration in Google Chrome:
  1. At the top right, click More More and then Settings.
  2. At the bottom of the page, click Advanced.
  3. Under “System,” turn on Use hardware acceleration when available.
  4. Relaunch your Chrome browser and Google Earth.

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

Explore Timelapse in Google Earth

Open Timelapse in Google Earth

  1. On your computer, open Google Earth.
  2. On the left, click Voyager Voyager.
  3. Click Layers and then Timelapse 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. To switch between 3D and 2D buildings:

  1. On your computer, open Google Earth.
  2. At the top left, click Map style Map Style.
  3. Under "Enable on 3D buildings,” turn 3D buildings on or off.. 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 computer, open Google Earth.
  2. At the top left, click Map style Map Style.
  3. Scroll and click 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 computer, open Google Earth.
  2. On the left, click Menu Menu and then Settings Settings.
  3. Next to “Application theme," click More Down arrow icon.
  4. Select Dark theme or Light theme.
Change your flight speed
  1. On your computer, open Google Earth
  2. On the left, click Menu Menu and then Settings Settings.
  3. Under “Animations,” drag the “Flight animation speed” slider to change the speed.
Load map imagery faster
  1. On your computer, open Google Earth.
  2. On the left, click Menu Menu and then Settings Settings.
  3. Under “Memory cache size,” choose a size.

Tip: To make images load faster, increase the cache size or turn off 3D imagery. Sometimes a Google Earth image doesn’t load fully, which may make the image appear blurry. At the bottom right, check if the loading indicator says “100%.”

Change how longitude and latitude are displayed

  1. On your computer, open Google Earth.
  2. On the left, click Menu Menu and then Settings Settings.
  3. Under “Format and Units,” select your “Latitude/Longitude formatting.”

Change units of measurement

  1. On your computer, open Google Earth.
  2. On the left, click Menu Menu and then Settings Settings.
  3. Under “Format and Units,” select your “Units of measurement.”

Explore Google Earth faster and easier

  1. On your computer, open Google Earth.
  2. On the left, click Menu Menu and then Settings Settings.
  3. In the search bar, type ? to bring up a list of shortcuts.

 

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