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Google Earth and Other GIS Programs

Google earth logo

Google Earth is a computer program that maps the Earth by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) data onto a 3D globe, allowing users to see cities and landscapes from multiple angles.

What can it do?

  • With Google Earth for Chrome, fly anywhere in seconds and explore hundreds of 3D cities right in your browser. Roll the dice to discover someplace new, take a guided tour with Voyager, and measure distances and areas.
  • Google Earth Pro on desktop is free for users with advanced feature needs. Import and export GIS data, and go back in time with historical imagery. 
  • Google Earth for mobile enables you to browse the globe with a swipe of your finger on your phone or tablet.
  • Create sharable links for selected views.
Earth in google chrome's browser
Google Earth for Chrome’s Browser Interface

Uses in a Course

  • Create and organize GIS information in a map for class projects.
  • Learn and tour around the world instantly by searching locations.
  • Explore the topography of areas.

Things to Consider Before Using Google Earth

  • Data is all online on a server, the faster your internet connect, the better.
  • Google Earth and some other GIS applications are based in Java, which can be slow on some machines.
  • This is not recommended for turn by turn directions. Try Google Maps instead.


Additional Help

  • Student Technology Assistants are available to help at the Digital Media Bar in Andrews Library in the CoRE.
  • Educational Technology provides limited training and support for Google Earth.
  • Google Earth offers Earth Help.

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