Goggles – Google Maps Flight Simulator, Also: Google Earth Flying

[UPDATE 2007-September 3: Check out the new Flight Simulator mode in Google Earth 4.2]
Goggles Google Maps Flightsim in Google EarthA very cool Google Maps mashup, which lets you navigate by flying a little plane, was recently released. It’s called “Goggles – the Google Maps Flightsim” and developed by Mark Caswell-Daniels. It is a very fun interface for flying around aerial photos in Google Maps. And, you can even shoot things if you want (just dive down using the UP and DOWN keys, and hit the SPACE key). Using this fun tool just brings a smile to your face. 🙂
What some of you may not realize is that Google Earth has a similar built-in feature. Yes, you can navigate through Google Earth as if you are flying a plane! The feature is called “G-Force” mode. You press CTRL-G to enter the mode (your cursor should change to an airplane). Then hold the right mouse button and push forward or backwards to control speed. Hold the left mouse button and move forward or backward to control tilt, and move right or left to control your bank. Use CTRL-T to resume normal navigation mode. I suggest you try flying in areas with mountains or 3D buildings to get the full effect.
Look for G-Force mode on this help page for more details on the controls. It also shows the slightly different keys required for use on a Mac.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. That’s pretty cool–perhaps they could use some sketchup models for other types of planes and have you choose your own.

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