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Google Earth

  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 12+
Downloadfor Android Downloadfor iOS

About Google Earth

Google Earth is a planetary exploration tool that lets you take a virtual trip to anywhere in the world, with tons of photos, information, and other types of interactive displays you can explore. Developed by Google, it is accessible on Android, Apple Mac, Google Chrome, iOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows devices. 

Google Earth Review

What's it about?

Google Earth offers the means to display geographic data from a wide variety of sources together in a geospatial context. This data includes imagery for the entire globe at varying resolutions that contains a great deal of interpretable visual information. Students can use it to find their homes, schools, and other locations that are familiar to them. They can make inferences by comparing familiar places to other locations. 

Google Earth and Google Maps have changed the landscape forever and offer us a delicious array of activities to get our teeth into. Google Earth has so many features that it’s hard to keep track of all its capabilities. Google Earth allows you to add a ‘placemark’ to sites of interest, which are then added to the ‘My Places’ folder for easy reference later on. Placemarks show up on the map as yellow drawing pins, but it’s possible to customise the icon. Google Earth is an out of this world application for teaching geography and a superb programme for souping up other subjects across the curriculum. 

Google Earth can be used :

  • to support hands-on inquiry by students in computer classrooms.
  • as a basis for homework assignments.
  • for dynamic presentations during class lectures.
  • for inquiry during class presentations.
  • to create imagery and maps for PowerPoint, Word, and other presentation tools.
  • as a data discovery, organization, and distribution tool for research projects.
  • to enrich discussion of an issue that arises spontaneously during an informal classroom discussion.

How can we use the app?

1. View old images of the earth

Explore the past and see how locations have changed over time. To do this, click the ‘Historical Imagery’ button in the toolbar. Move the slider at the top left corner of the 3D viewer to see imagery from previous eras.

2. Examine photo-realistic buildings

You can get a detailed look at hundreds of buildings in many of the world’s cities by ticking the ‘3D buildings’ option in the ‘Layers’ panel. Tilt or zoom in to get a better view.

3. Watch the sunrise

Click on the daylight button and use the time slider to watch dusk, dawn and shadows move across the Earth.

4. Take to the skies

Fly around the world using a flight simulator. Go to ‘Tools’, enter ‘Flight Simulator’ and select your plane and start location. The display shows your speed in knots, heading, throttle and altitude.

5. Explore the sea bed

The latest version of Google Earth lets you dive into the seas and marvel at underwater terrain and investigate hundreds of shipwrecks.

Can I use Google Earth without downloading it?

To have the most user-friendly experience, you should download Google Earth. Given the extremely large amount of data that is within the platform, opening Google Earth on a web browser link will result in lagging. The application is adept at quickly responding to prompts and loading locations which results in more striking scenery to admire.

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Additional Information

Teacher Ratings


Android, iPad, iPhone




Organisational and Productivity Skills


In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No


Google, Inc.

Download Google Earth

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Screenshots for Google Earth

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Fly around the planet with a swipe of your finger with Google Earth for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Explore distant lands or reacquaint yourself with your childhood home. Search for cities, places, and businesses. Browse layers including roads, borders, places, photos and more. Visit the Earth Gallery to find exciting maps such as real-time earthquakes, planes in flight, hiking trails, city tours, and more. Integrated Google Maps Street View allows you to explore the world at street level.

Use the new “tour guide” to easily discover exciting new places to explore. With a quick swipe on the tab at the bottom of the screen, you can bring up a selection of virtual tours from around the globe.

With new 3D imagery, you can now fly through complete 3D recreations of select cities, including San Francisco, Boston, Rome, and others. With every building modeled in 3D, you truly get a sense of flying above the city. 3D imagery is available on iPhone 4S and iPad 2 or later.

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