Where can you see satellite images of our planet? Paris, New York, Niagara Falls, Everest and many other known and unknown places on Earth, we can see with the help of an interactive virtual globe – the Google Earth program.
With the help of this program you will see our entire planet on the screen of your monitor. The free Google Earth program includes a globe, atlas, and travel guide service.
Using this program, you can move to the desired location anywhere in the world. In the Google Earth program, you can see the relief of our planet, city streets, 3D buildings, 3D trees, historical images, the ocean, the sky, the Moon and Mars.
Google Earth can also be used for educational purposes. This is one of those programs that is always installed on my computer.
To install the program on your computer from the official Google website, go to www.google.com . On the download page, you will need to click on the “Accept the terms and download” button. You can uncheck the boxes next to the corresponding items if you do not want to download the Google Chrome browser on your computer at the same time.
The download page will download the installer for the Google Earth program. Then, after launching the installer, the installation of the Google Earth program on the computer begins.
After the Google Earth program has been installed on your computer, launch the program from the shortcut on the “Desktop” or from the “Start” menu => “All Programs” => “Google Earth” => “Google Earth”.
Google Earth Settings
After opening the Google Earth program window, the “Sidebar” will be opened on the left side of the program window. In order for our planet to be displayed in the entire program window, the “Sidebar” can be removed.
To do this, go to the “View” menu, and then uncheck the box next to the “Sidebar” item, or by clicking on the appropriate button below the program menu bar.
In the right corner of the program window there are control buttons for the Google Earth program.
With the top button, you can change the viewing angle so that you can observe the displayed surface not only from above. With this button you can rotate the globe or move the orientation to the cardinal points. If you click on the letter “N”, then the globe will be oriented to the north. These commands can be executed with the mouse by pressing the left button and moving the mouse.
With another button below, you can move around the space by clicking on the corresponding side. If the mouse cursor is brought closer to the edge of this button, then the movement speed will be faster than when the cursor is closer to the center of the button.
By moving the slider along the axis, you can zoom in or out on the image loaded by the program. You can also zoom in or out on Earth images by moving the mouse wheel forward or backward.
At the bottom of the program window are displayed: “date of shooting”, “coordinates of the place” from which the view of our planet is displayed, “height above sea level” and “height of the terrain view”.
The program is already configured by default, but you can still make some more settings. To do this, in the “Tools” menu, click on the “Settings” item. Here you can make your settings in the appropriate tabs, and I will focus on the settings in the “3D View” tab.
You can choose, if your computer’s power allows you, higher settings to better display space images. If you use higher settings, images will take longer to load, it also depends on the speed of your internet connection. The higher the speed of the Internet connection, the faster images of the Earth will be downloaded to your computer.
In the graphics mode “DirectX” there will be a better display of images loaded by the program. You can experiment with the quality of the relief display. I am using the program settings shown in this image on my computer.
If you want the images not to be distorted when you zoom in, then go to the menu “Tools” => “Settings” => “Navigation”.
In the “Navigation” tab, uncheck the checkbox opposite the item “Tilt automatically and enter view from the ground”, and then check the box next to the item “Do not tilt when viewing automatically”. You can check the box “Gradually slow down the rotation of the Earth when turning or approaching.” After that, click on the “OK” button.
In this article, I only talk about the main features of the program. You yourself can enter the menu items of the program and make the appropriate settings for your needs.
You can simply move around the satellite map of the Earth in manual mode, using the program’s control buttons, or simply with the mouse.
To look at satellite images, you will have to wait a bit until the image is downloaded completely from the Internet. An image taken from a higher altitude loads faster.
To move to a specific geographical point, in the “Search” field you need to enter the name of the settlement. When you enter a name in the “Search” field, hints appear. You can add to the name of the city and the street with the house number.
This, however, applies to large settlements. If the settlement is small and it is located in the countryside, it is better to enter the name of a nearby city in order to get to the place of interest from it. Not all small settlements can be marked with text on the pictures in the program.
The detail of satellite maps depends on the population of a particular area. More densely populated areas of the Earth have more detailed images than sparsely populated areas. Deserts, jungles and polar regions do not have very high detail in the pictures.
Images of the Earth are gradually updated, in the lower right corner of the program window there is a date of shooting a particular place.
Traveling in Google Earth
In order to move to a specific place, you need to enter the name of this place in the “Search” field. Enter in the “Search” field the expression: “Niagara Falls”, and then double-click on the “Start Search” icon located next to it. The program will take you to the selected location.
In the image that opens, you will see what Niagara Falls looks like from a height of 3.01 km.
You can get close to the waterfall and view it from all sides. In the image you see a view of the waterfall from a height of 604 meters. This image shows a lot of markings of the places where the photos were taken.
Other objects are also marked on satellite images. These can be hotels, various institutions, attractions, large stores, historical monuments and much more. When you right-click on such an object, help information about that particular object appears.
When you click on the photo mark, you will see a photo taken from the marked place on the image. You can also add your photos by uploading them to the Panoramio photo hosting with the coordinates of the shooting location.
You can see Niagara Falls from the other side too by moving to a new location.
You can hide the display of the marks of the taken photos on the uploaded image. To do this, go to the “Sidebar” by clicking on the appropriate button. In the “Sidebar”, in the “Layers” section, you will need to uncheck the box next to the “Photos” item. After that, the image will not have these marks.
If you want to remove all unnecessary information from images, then in the “Layers” section, uncheck the checkbox opposite the “Main database” item, and then close the “Sidebar”.
In the “Layers” section, you can add or remove various effects, such as displaying 3D buildings. Such displays of 3D buildings are mainly for large cities, and mainly located in the USA and Western Europe.
In the image, near the famous Eiffel Tower, you see not only cars, but even individuals standing near the tower. With the help of the program, you can also view historical photographs taken in this place.
Flight Simulator at Google Earth
In the Google Earth program, you can simulate a flight on a virtual simulator by selecting the type of aircraft for this. To do this, you need to enter the “Tools” menu, and then click on the “Enter flight simulator” item.
In the Flight Simulator window, you can select the type of aircraft and the starting position for starting the flight. After that, you need to click on the “Start Flight” button.
After that, you can fly above the ground in a virtual plane.
Viewing the surface of the Moon and Mars
Using the Google Earth program, you can see the surface of the Moon and Mars. To do this, click on the button with the image of the planet and select the appropriate item. To depict the surface of the Moon and Mars, space photographs taken by the US agency NASA are used.
You can change the height of the sun and therefore change the angle of the shadow. This image shows the surface of Mars.
If you select the “Sky” item, then with the help of the program it will be possible to view the night sky and objects of the Universe on the starry sky map. Complementing the image are photographs taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. Clicking on an object displays additional help information.
In some places, you can go underwater and see the topography of the seabed if you check the appropriate boxes in the “Layers” section.
The program allows you to make tours of attractions. In the Google Earth program, you can create your own trips and save them for later viewing. To do this, check the appropriate items in the “Layers” section.
In the “File” menu, after clicking on the “View on Google Maps” item, you can view the plot of land you have chosen using the service of the same name. To go back to the Google Earth program, you need to click on the “Back to Google Earth” button in the upper left corner.
Satellite photos can be saved to your computer. To do this, after you have chosen a save location, simultaneously press the “Ctrl” + “Alt” + “S” buttons on the keyboard.
In the Explorer window that opens, select a location to save the image and give the image a name. After that, click on the “Save” button.
The free Google Earth program can be used not only for entertainment, but for practical purposes. For example, you are planning a vacation, or going on a business trip. Previously, you can look at the place of interest to you using the Google Earth program.
After that, you will already have a certain idea about this place, and you can choose a place to rest more consciously.
With the Google Earth program, you can look at any place on the globe using satellite photos, and also find in the program the house you live in or the place where you will go on vacation.