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.

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

Did you know?

In December 2019, we’ll shut down the Street View Gallery. The collections featured in the gallery will soon appear in Voyager, Google Earth’s home for guided tours, games, and data layers. You’ll be able to easily find these collections with Earth’s Search feature. Once the Gallery shutdown and migration is complete, visit Voyager to find new Street View collections in the future.

See system requirements for Google Earth (iOS)

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

Allow notifications on your iPhone or iPad

When you get push notifications on your iPhone or iPad, they only appear for a moment. To see 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 some of the latest Google Earth features

Turn on Animated Clouds

You can view the last 24 hours of cloud coverage in a looping animation. Cloud data is updated when new data is available, usually every hour.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. Tap Menu Menu and then Map style Map Style.
  3. Scroll and Turn on animated clouds.

Tip: Google Earth shows stationary clouds by default. Animated clouds fade and then disappear when you zoom in.

See the world from different points of view

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

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. In the top left, tap Menu Menu and then Map style Map Style.
  3. Under "Turn on 3D buildings," tap the toggle to "on" or "off" based on your preference. Blue will indicate that 3D buildings are turned on.

Tip: If you view the world in 2D, it may show newer imagery in some regions. To see the newest imagery possible, view in 2D mode. The 2D view may also improve overall app performance.

Learn about other helpful Earth features

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.
Import KML files in Google Earth
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Earth app Google Earth.
  2. Tap Menu Menu and then My places My Places.
  3. Tap Import KML file.

Related resources

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