Overview of Google Earth

Let's Watch and Learn!
So what IS GoogleEarth?
Google Earth
is a virtual interactive mapping application originally called Earth Viewer. It was created by Keyhole, Inc., a company acquired by Google in 2004. It maps the earth by superimposing overlays of statellite imagery, aerial photography GIS 3D photos.

The application, free to all users, allows viewers to virtually fly around the entire globe, giving the appearance of a bird's eye view of the earth. But what you are really looking at are the satellite imagery with overlays of roads, buildingts, geographic features, and numberous other location-specific data points. You can add your own points of interest and share them with others, chart routes, plot areas, calculate distances, and overlay separate images right onto the application.

GoogleEarth also connects seemlessly with the Internet, providing a plethera of information about locations to the viewer. Information and pictures are available from WIkipedia, Panorama, National Geographic, and NASA, to name just a few.

Common questions about Google Earth (answered BY the good folks at GoogleEarth)

1. When were these pictures taken? How often are they updated?

Our images are photographs taken by satellites and aircraft sometime in the last three years. The images in Google Earth are updated on a rolling basis.

2. Are Google Earth images captured in real time?

No, they aren't. Our images are photographs taken by satellites and aircraft sometime in the last three years.

3. Are there cities covered in detail worldwide? Or just in the US?

The whole world is covered with medium resolution imagery and terrain data. This resolution allows you to see major geographic features and man-made development such as towns, but not detail of individual buildings. Additional high-resolution imagery which reveals detail for individual buildings is available for most of the major cities in the US, Western Europe, Canada, and the UK. 3D buildings are represented in 38 US cities (the major urban areas). Detailed road maps are available for the US, Canada, the UK, and Western Europe. And Google Local search is available for the US, Canada, and the UK.

4. Why do I see blurry pictures when I go to my house?

Google Earth combines data of to offer a seamless viewing experience, so some locations look a bit blurry. We offer high resolution imagery (greater than 1-meter) for thousands of cities and more are on the way.