Google Earth and Google Maps used to be very different products, but over the past few years they’ve become much more similar. This is largely due to the addition of new features to Google Maps, such as support for 3D Imagery and other features that used to only be available in Google Earth.
The folks at Social Bubble recently wrote a post that discusses some of the difference between Earth and Maps. That inspired us to take it a bit further and lay out some of the differences.
To start, there are a handful of similarities between both programs. They both feature the same satellite imagery, allow you to search for locations, save places and get directions. In addition, both feature Street View imagery.
Google Maps offers a few advantages over Google Earth. It keeps your data synced across devices, has excellent turn-by-turn navigation features, and allows you to go into the past with historical Street View imagery. They recently crossed the one billion download mark, a testament to how popular it is.
While Google Maps is more convenient when you’re on the go (largely due to the turn-by-turn navigation), Google Earth has a lot of features that make it more powerful for digging in. Earth offers additional 3D content, makes it easier to stack layers of information, allows you to use special controllers such as the SpaceNavigator and the LEAP Motion, has an excellent flight simulator feature, allows you to view historical aerial imagery, and gives you additional tools such as the ruler and elevation profiles.
What is your favorite feature that you can only find in Google Earth?