Tips and tricks

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

Note: These tips are for Google Earth web and mobile, not Google Earth Pro.

See system requirements Google Earth (Web)

  • Google Chrome OS 50 or higher
  • Make sure to turn on Hardware Acceleration in the advanced Chrome settings

Try one of the latest Google Earth features

There are many ways to explore the world around you using Google Earth. Here’s one feature that people find helpful right now.

You can look at special visualizations of the planet using Google Earth layers. See different scientific readings on a global scale and learn more about the world.

  1. On your computer, open Google Earth Google Earth.
  2. On the left, click Voyager Voyager.
  3. In the list of categories, click Layers.
  4. Scroll down and choose an option, like "Current Weather Radar."
  5. You’ll see the globe updated with the layer you chose. To turn the layer on or off, click Toggle Layer.
  6. To go back to the default view, on the left, click Cancel Cancel.

See system requirements for Google Earth (Android)

  • Android OS version 4.1 and up

Try one of the latest Google Earth features

There are many ways to explore the world around you using Google Earth. Here’s one feature that people find helpful right now.

You can look at special visualizations of the planet using Google Earth layers. See different scientific readings on a global scale and learn more about the world.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. On the left, tap Menu Menu and then Voyager Voyager.
  3. Scroll the list of categories to the left and tap Layers.
  4. Scroll down and choose an option, like "Current Weather Radar."
  5. You’ll see the globe updated with the data you chose. To turn the layer on or off, tap the bar at the bottom of the screen and then Toggle Layer.
  6. To go back to the default view, at the top, tap Cancel Cancel.

 

Learn about other helpful Earth features

 
  • Change your flight speed
    If you want flight to be faster or slower, select the Menu Menu and then Settings. Then, adjust the flight animation speed.
  • Make map imagery load faster
    Try increasing your memory cache size in the Google Earth settings. Learn how to troubleshoot places loading slowly.
     
  • Change how longitude and latitude are displayed
    To switch between Decimal Degrees and Degrees Minutes Seconds (DMS), adjust the formatting in the settings.
  • Import KML files in Google Earth
    To make it possible to import KML files into Google Earth, and to see which KML features work in Google Earth Web and Mobile, first turn it on in the settings. Learn how to allow KML file importing in the new Google Earth.

    Note: not all KML file types are currently supported in Earth.
  • Print Google Earth imagery
    The Print action in Google Chrome doesn’t print Google Earth imagery correctly. For best results, take a screenshot and print that instead. Make sure the attribution and copyright info is still visible.
  • See how much of the imagery has loaded
    If Google Earth images seem blurry, you might have zoomed the map in too closely. Sometimes the image hasn’t finished downloading. On the bottom right, check if the loading indicator says 100%.
  • Change units of measurement
    You can decide how you want to see distance units and other information. Select Menu Menu and then Settings and then Units of measurement.
  • Get more help with Google Earth
    To open this or other help articles without leaving Google Earth, select Menu Menu and then Settings and then Help.

See what else you can do with Google Earth

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