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This is how the new Google Earth works – discover the world from above

With 15 years under its belt, Google Earth is one of the tech giant’s true veterans. The service, which is free, can be described as a digital globe. It allows you to see the earth from above and then zoom down to the smallest street level. Unlike a regular globe, there is plenty of information about the places you see. It is in Swedish and comes from Wikipedia.

Basically, Google Earth contains the same information as the map service Google Maps. Both contain, for example, Street View, where you see streets and facades.

The big difference is the presentation. While Maps is better for getting between two points, Google Earth’s focus is on inspiring and informing. The service helps us understand how our world works, and there are many exciting features. For example, try pressing the dice to end up in a randomly selected location.

New version

Recently, Google Earth came in a new version – according to Google, the biggest update since 2017. The hottest news is that Google Earth has received a so-called timelapse function. It shows how the Earth has changed since 1984. So you can see what has happened to optional locations during these years.

Timelapse, for example, clearly shows how cities have grown, forest areas have disappeared and deserts have been populated – or spread out. 24 million satellite images from sources such as Nasa and European Copernicus make the function possible. Since the quality of the images varies, the result will be different depending on what you are looking at.

A faster way to take part in the most spectacular is to surf to g.co/timelapsevideos. Here are 800 films that in both 2d and 3d show how the world has changed.

This is Google Earth

Google Earth

1. Menu

Click here to expand the left menu. You will then reach the program’s settings and you can log in to your Google account.

2. Search

Search for a single location and the map will zoom in and you will see more information.

3. Voyager

Here you will find the timelapse function, games, lessons and other exciting features.

4. Coincidence

Click here to randomly select a place to visit.

5. Project

Create a so-called project (see question 5).

6. Maps

Control how the map should look, for example by showing and hiding borders, places and roads.

7. Measuring tape

Measure distances between different locations

8. Draw

Add placemarks, lines and shapes.

9. Zoom

Navigate by swiping your finger or mouse on the globe. You can also zoom with the plus and minus icons.

10. Tools

Four tools to adjust compass direction, switch to 3d view, open Street View mode or move the map to your current location.

11. Spin

Spin the earth and zoom in or out.

Questions and answers about the service

Google Earth

1. How do I get started?

The easiest way to get started with Google Earth is to surf to earth.google.com in the browser and press Start Earth. The service works best in Google Chrome, but you can also use other browsers.

Google Earth

2. Is there an app?

Google Earth is available as an app for mobile and tablet. You install it in Google Play Store (Android) or App Store (iPhone/iPad).
You can also install it as a traditional desktop application. You do this by surfing to www.google.comselect Approve and download then follow the instructions. At the time of writing, the computer program is not as up-to-date as the app and the web version.

Google Earth

3. Do I have to log in?

You can use Google Earth for free and without any login. However, if you want to save map pins or something else, you must press the menu button and log in. Use the same information as in, for example, Gmail.

Google Earth

4. How do I use timelapse?

To use the new timelapse function, press the button Voyager in the left menu. Choose Timelapse then a new window will open on the right.

Move the map to the location you want to take a closer look at or use the search window. At the top you see the years and you can either click on the year you want to display or use Playbutton to start an animation showing the progress.

You will also find a number of selected timelapse stories at the bottom and by clicking on Featured locations opens a list of interesting places to take a closer look at.

Google Earth

5. What are projects?

You can use Google Earth to create advanced presentations that mix maps, text, photos, and video. These are called projects, and you create them by tapping the Projects icon on the left. Read more in Google’s guide here.

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