It’s a subject we’ve discussed before, but it’s worth taking another look. With all of the great new StreetView imagery arriving the last week, many people don’t realize how easy it is to view that imagery in Google Earth. If you find yourself in Google Earth using one of the many layers they’ve built in or exploring a KML file you recently downloaded, it can be handy to dive into StreetView mode without having to load your browser and use Google Maps.
This brief video gives you an overview of how it’s done:
If you prefer text-based instructions, here is a short explanation of how it’s done:
The first thing you’ll need to do is look for the Street View layer on the lower left of Google Earth and turn it on by clicking the little box to the left. Then look for the gold camera icons as you zoom into a street location of interest. If you single-click the left mouse button on a Street View camera icon, you get a placemark that shows the photo. Click the link there to enter the Street View image. Or, double-click to fly straight in.
Street View in Google Earth uses the special Photo Viewer tool which lets you pan around the inside of a 3D projected photo. Street View images are spherical panoramas allowing you to look around 360 degrees side-to-side and up-down. You can even see the spherical Street View photos as you zoom in close over a street. With Google Earth, you can adjust the transparency of the images and compare the background 3D terrain or 3D buildings (if available) and see that the Street View photos match the surrounding area. You can also turn on other layers such as the Geographic Web (including photos), Roads, Dining, Lodging, etc. to get more information on an area.
There are literally millions of StreetView images in Google Earth, with more being added all the time. Have fun browsing around and see what you can find. If you’d like some fun StreetView items to browse, check out StreetViewFun.com or the Google Earth Hacks StreetView section. If you use the GEH collection, look for the “View in Google Earth” button to be flown directly to that item in Google Earth, as seen in the screenshot below.
If you know of other interesting collections of StreetView sights, leave a comment and let us know.