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Google Earth Frequently Asked Questions 0 Recommended Answers 0 Replies 417 Upvotes
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Hello everyone,
 
Do you have a question or issue related to Google Earth?  Take a look at these frequently asked questions. If you don’t find an answer here or in the Help Center articles related to your issue, please create a thread and ask your question so our experts can help you!
 
We encourage you to check these top user questions on Google Earth before posting a new thread in the Help Forum in hopes of getting you an answer more quickly.
 
If your question is not listed below, please remember to search for your question using the search bar atop the Help Forum page prior to posting.
 
1. How do I find the Carmen Sandiego game?
"Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego" can be found within Voyager within the Games tab.  Just click on the Voyager ship wheel icon, then Games, and then Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego".
 
2. Why did you make the new Google Earth a web app?
Classic desktop Earth must be downloaded and installed on your Windows, Mac or Linux computer. By making new Earth a web app (on Chrome, for now) it can be used on most computers including Chromebooks, without a download. Being on the web makes it easier for us to make updates and ensure you're using the most up to date product. Plus, it makes it easier for you to share your own experiences with Google Earth by using a simple link.
 
3. Does it work on Chromebooks and Chrome for Android/iOS?
You can use Earth on your Chromebook using the built-in Chrome browser. On Android and iOS, please download and install the Google Earth app from the Play Store and App Store, as the mobile version of Chrome is not supported.
 
4. Why is the web version Chrome-only?
Our new cross-platform 3D rendering engine currently uses a Chrome-only technology called Native Client to bring Earth to the web. However, we’re working on bringing Google Earth to other major browsers like Edge, Firefox and Safari.
Currently we are running a beta version of Google Earth built using WebAssembly rather than Native Client. This allows you to use Google Earth in additional browser such as Firefox although the performance may be less than optimal
 
5. Which phones and versions can use the new Google Earth?
Google Earth requires Android 4.1 (Jellybean) or higher and works best with newer phones and tablets running Android 4.4+ (Kitkat). For iOS users, the new Google Earth requires iOS 9 or higher and works best with newer phones and tablets.
 
6. Why is some of the Voyager content broken on my older Android device?
Some of the Voyager stories may not work properly in Android 4.1–4.3 (Jellybean) because of limited support for HTML5 and CSS on older devices.
 
7. Where is my favorite Earth Pro for desktop feature? (e.g. historical imagery, adding placemarks, etc.)?
While rebuilding the new Google Earth from scratch we decided to start with features that are essential for exploring and learning about the planet: Voyager, Knowledge Cards and I’m Feeling Lucky. Some of the features you may be missing from classic desktop Earth are some of our favorites too! While we work to prioritize and redesign many of these features for new Earth, you can continue to use them in classic desktop Earth.
 
8. What will happen with the classic desktop Earth?
The new Google Earth doesn’t yet have all the features that many long-time classic desktop Earth users enjoy. While we build more of these core features into the new Google Earth, we will continue to maintain the classic desktop app.
 
9. Why don't my KML/KMZ files work properly in the new Google Earth?
Most moderately-sized KML files and simple features should work in the new Google Earth now. While we work to support more advanced features you can keep using classic desktop Earth
 
10. How do we update satellite and aerial imagery?
The satellite imagery within Google Earth is comprised of both low and high resolution imagery depending on the overall user interest in that location.  Our imagery is sourced from many different 3rd party partners. We work together to create an imagery refresh plan that will keep the imagery current over populated places and areas of cultural significance.
 
Google Earth also contains a great deal of high resolution 3D imagery particularly over urban areas where local and federal regulations permit these collections. 3D imagery also requires special collects using specific aircraft mounted cameras and is subject to federal and local collection and flight regulations.  
 
Check out this article for more details and check out our blog for news on the latest imagery updates.
 
11. Can I recommend an area for an imagery refresh?
Yes.  You can use our Feedback tool within the Earth menu to recommend an area for an imagery refresh. Please be sure your area of interest is in the center of your screenshot when submitting your feedback and use the text “I would like to recommend an imagery refresh” in the feedback window.
 
We compile these requests to help us develop our imagery plans, as user interest is very important in determining which areas we want to refresh and how often.  Please keep in mind that the imagery collection and update processes can take several months to years and that these refreshes are done on a best effort basis. Also, factors such as imagery availability from our vendors as well as cloudy weather can delay imagery refreshes.  Many areas of the world are habitually cloudy, so we have to be patient with collection realities.
 
12. How can I suggest edits to roads, place names, business information, or other map features that are incorrect?
In app feedback is always welcome, but we highly encourage you to use the tools within Google Maps to help us improve the quality and accuracy of our map data.  Within the Google Maps menu you can launch a tool that will allow you to “Add a Missing Place” to the map. You can also right-click on any map location within Google Maps to “Report a Data Problem”.  Here you can suggest edits to place names, roads, and inform us of other data inaccuracies such as store hours or telephone numbers.   
 
Check out this article for more details.
 
13. What areas can I see in 3D?
You can see what areas have 3D imagery by viewing the 3D Imagery layer in Voyager. We do not have 3D imagery available in all areas. However, you are much more likely to find 3D imagery over major urban areas in North America and Europe than in Asia or Australia due to local flight regulations.

14. How often are 3D areas updated?
We do not have a set refresh schedule for 3D imagery.  Also, not all 3D imagery will be updated and some may be replaced with newer 2D imagery that is more useful.  However, for key markets and for coverage expansion we make a continual best effort to refresh and expand our 3D imagery coverage.
 
For more information on how we collect and create 3D imagery check out this video.
 
15. Can I suggest 3D imagery for an area?
Yes.  This imagery is more challenging to update, but we encourage you to let us know where you would like to see new 3D imagery.  Within the Google Earth menu you can click on Send Feedback and use the text “I would like to recommend a 3D imagery collect” in the feedback window.   And just like with a standard imagery request, please make sure that your area of interest is positioned in the middle of your screenshot and note that this is a suggestion and not an agreement to fulfill the request.
  
16. How can I incorporate Google Earth into my classroom?
We have many resources and tools available to educators to help them use Google Earth as a learning tool in their classroom including tutorials, classroom activities, and lesson plans.  
 
Please check out our Google Earth Education site for more details.
  
17. Why does some imagery appear to be blurry?
In most cases the imagery is not actually blurry, but can be perceived that way due to a variety of reasons. The top reasons why imagery may appear to be blurry are:
 
1) The imagery is still loading.  This is particularly common in areas with very detailed terrain and infrastructure as well as in areas with slower internet connections.  Older phones, tablets, and computers in addition to older operating systems or product versions may also make it take longer for the imagery to completely resolve. Also, there is now an Imagery Loading Indicator at the bottom right of your screen that will help you identify whether or not the imagery in your screen is fully loaded.
 
2) No high resolution imagery is present.  For much of the remote world we use lower resolution satellite imagery to assure that we have a current, uniform, and complete basemap.  High resolution imagery is available for the areas users view the most including urban areas and culturally significant locations.
 
3) The zoom level being used is too high.  Not unlike a picture you take with a camera, the images have a set maximum, optimal resolution.  For example, you may have a crystal clear image you have taken with a high performance camera, but if you zoom in on that picture far enough it will become pixelated and appear to be blurry.  Another example would be viewing your television. You could have the best television on the market, but if you move your eyes too close to the screen it will start to become blurry and you will see the pixels.  Therefore, this is also very common with Google Earth images if you zoom in past the optimal resolution.
 
Check out this article for further troubleshooting.
 
 
18. Why don't all areas have high resolution imagery?
High resolution imagery, as defined by having pixels in the image that are less than 1 meter wide is challenging to collect.  It would take up to 700,000 images to form a complete high resolution map of the Earth’s landmass and 2,300,000 images if you want to include the oceans.  Due to available imaging resources and cloud cover (especially over arable lands that foster human development) it is not feasible to maintain a high resolution map of the entire planet.  We instead dedicate our resources to improving the imagery of the most important areas on a more frequent basis.
  
19. How do I know when an image was taken?
Currently we do not have any annotation on the map that shows when the image was collected.  However, we acknowledge that imagery acquisition dates are a very informative piece of information for storytelling and change detection.
 
20. How do I view historical imagery?
There is currently no ability to view imagery from other dates in Google Earth for Web and Mobile, but you can find this information in Earth Pro for Desktop.  We feel that adding the dimension of time is very critical for studying our changing planet and we will continue to explore ways to aid in these efforts.
 
21. Can I view other planets in Google Earth?
You cannot view other planets or celestial objects in Google Earth at this time.
 
22. How can I create my own stories and tours?
You can use our Tour Builder tool to create stories in Earth Pro for Desktop while we continue work here on enhancing our users abilities to create and share information about our planet within Google Earth for Web and Mobile.
 
23. How can I Learn more about Voyager?
Voyager is our vision for sharing stories about our planet in a highly visual and interactive manner using various rich media sources and world renowned storytellers such as The National Geographic Society, National Earth Observatory, and BBC Earth.  
 
You can learn more about Voyager and go more in depth about how to use it to educate other at this site.
 
24. Why does 3D imagery sometimes disappear from Google Earth?
This is actually expected behavior although unpredictable for users.  The general reason for 3D imagery no longer being available is that we are in the process of improving the overall quality and usefulness of the map.  This could mean that the imagery will soon be replaced by a newer and higher quality data set, that the original imagery has been determined to be improvable and will be returned after the enhancements are complete, or the imagery may have been replaced with significantly newer 2D imagery that will be more useful to a larger percentage of our users.
 
25. Where is Street View imagery available?
You can click on the Pegman icon in the main window to reveal a blue overlay mask that shows where Street View imagery is available.  
 
To find out more about the Street View program including what areas may be added next you can head to this site.
 
26. How do I print?
Printing from Chrome does not work well for printing imagery.  We suggest using a screenshot and making sure the proper attribution is visible per the Terms of Service
 
27. How can I request to remove or blur Street View imagery?
While viewing a Street view image from within Google Earth, click on the "Report a problem" link in the bottom right information bar. You will then be prompted to fill out a form specifying what you would like to see changed. Please visit this site for more information on Street View Privacy Policies.
 
28. How can I view weather data?
You can see local temperatures, rainfall, wind speed and more within the Layers category in Voyager. To get started, here is the current global temperature around the world.
 
Note:  Weather layers are subject to delays and gaps in coverage due to their dynamic nature. Refreshing your browser most often will yield complete and updated results.  Also, the layers are updated every 15 minutes, so other times coming back after 15 minutes when the layers are refreshed will often result in complete and updated weather data.
 
29. How can I view elevation data in Google Earth Pro (Desktop)?
You can see dynamic elevation data at the lower right as you move your mouse cursor around the map. If this feature does not seem to be working make sure you have a checkmark next to "Terrain" in your Layer panel to assure that terrain is turned on.
 
30. Why is my blue "My Location" dot in the wrong place?
The My Location blue dot is generally accurate to within 10m.  To determine your location, your device uses a combination of cellular, wi-fi, bluetooth, and GPS.  Location accuracy can vary resulting in your blue dot being misplaced depending on your device type, your line of site to GPS satellites, your wi-fi network performance, and your proximity to high speed cellular towers.
 
31. What languages are available for Voyager stories?
Voyager stories are available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Hindi, Portuguese Brazil, and Japanese. If you are using Google Earth in one of these languages you will see Voyager stories translated in that language. If you are using a language where a translation is not available the Voyager story will be in the English language.
 
32. How can I turn off 3D imagery?
You can turn off 3D imagery by opening the Map Styles window within the menu panel and locating the "Turn On 3D Buildings" button. This button will allow you to switch between 3D and 2D imagery depending on your preference. Also note that 2D imagery gets updated more frequently, so you may see newer imagery as well as achieve better overall performance when setting the 3D button to "Off".
 
33. How do I view latitude and longitude grid lines along with the Equator, Prime Meridian, Article Circle, etc.?
You can view grid lines, such as the Equator, Prime Meridian, Arctic Circle, and more in Google Earth for Web and Mobile by tapping on the Main Menu, then Map Style, and then "Enable Gridlines".

34. What is the Projects feature?
Projects within Google Earth allows you to add your our content to the map such as placemarks, KML, places found in knowledge cards, lines and more all displayed within click-through story.  
 
35. Can I add sound to my project?
Audio is not currently supported within the Earth project creation tools.  
 
36. Can I create a project on my mobile device?
You can view and share projects on you Android and iOS mobile devices, but you cannot create new projects on those devices.  
 
37. How do I save my work?
Any changes you make will be saved to Google Drive as you work. Check the status bar at the top of the panel to see when changes were last saved.  
 
38. How can others see my project on Google Earth?
By default, your project is private only to you. To share your project with others, click on the Share button at the top of the project panel and add individuals to view or edit, or change to project to Public. You can then share your project by sharing the link.  
 
39. Can I save a 3D or tilted image as the view associated with my placemark?
Yes, you will need to click the Edit button on your placemark. Then get your perfect 3D view and click the Capture this view button.  
 
40. Can I rotate my photo because the orientation is wrong?
No, you must rotate your photo in your image editing program before you add it in Google Earth.  
 
41. Can I reorder my photos?
You cannot reorder photos at this time.  
 
41. How do I add captions to my photos?
You can not add captions to your photos at this time.  
 
43. Can I make a copy of a project, or copy a feature from one project to another?
No, you can not make a copy of a projects or copy features from one project to another.  
 
44. Is there a maximum number of points, lines, or polygons you can add to one project?
No, you can add as many as you like.  
 
45. I added a place via Search, now how do I add my own text and images to the place?
If you added the place from a search, by default it displays information from the Google Knowledge Graph (you can click the Preview presentation button to see the default information displayed). You can choose to keep the Knowledge Card information as is, or you can click “Replace” in the Property Editor panel to delete this information and then add your own content.   
 
46. Can you add a video that is not published in YouTube?
You must upload your video to YouTube in order to add it to your Earth project. However, you could set the YouTube video to “unlisted” if you don’t want it to be indexed and searchable. To add an unlisted YouTube video to your project, use the YouTube search tool and search with the video URL. You cannot add a video from Drive.  
 
47. Can I view Earth Projects in VR?
You currently cannot view Google Earth Projects in VR.  
 
48. Can I add my KML and KMZ file to Earth as part of my Project?
No, you cannot add KML and KMZ files directly to your projects at this time.

49. When I upload a photo it doesn't seem to work
It is likely that you have third party cookies disabled in your browser settings preventing the image from showing.  
 
50. Why do I see an 'experimental' warning when I use Earth on the web?
We are slowly moving users over to a new version of Earth on the web based on a new cutting edge technology called WebAssembly. Some older devices may have limited support for this technology and in that case we give you a heads up that the app may run a little slower than usual.
 
51.  What Happened to the “My Places” button?
The My Places button has been replaced by the new “Projects” button.  With the new Projects feature you now have more control over your saved places and can also create your own places, KML, stories, tours, and share it all with others.
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