Using Street View in Google Earth

[UPDATED March 2009
With millions of new people finding out about Street View (thanks to more countries like the UK, Netherlands, Spain, and France getting Street View), it’s time to post a “How To” on using Street View in Google Earth. Street View in Google Earth is a more 3D-like experience than Google Maps. The Google Maps implementation of Street View is in some ways handier – such as the use of Street View with directions, or the ability to embed Street Views on a web site like this:

But, Google Earth has its advantages with Street View as well.
So, how do you use Street View in Google Earth? This “How To” video gives you a good overview of how Street View works and looks in Google Earth:

For those of you who prefer written instructions:

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.
So, get out there and explore the millions of Street View images already available in several countries: US, France, Spain, Japan, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Netherlands, England, Scotland, and Ireland.

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.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.


  1. Surely there could be a means to connect the GE camera to an external browser, orienting the Street View of Google Maps, automatically?
    Consider Globe Glider as a comparison:

  2. I couldnt figure out how to get their flash object to play nicely in GE. So instead done it like this:
    Its not accurately located, as It seems to cause (mine at least) GE to go crazy and blanking out – so use at own risk :). Snapshow view (which I normally use) just causes everything to tilt strangly? Maybe someone can create a proper KML container.
    – anyway it shows promise, and hopefully one of the reasons for the PhotoOverlay.
    (btw this is via PhotoOverlayCreator from CASA, so is not suitable for automation as is) (but the wget and imagemagick montage could be 😉

  3. Barry, I forgot about the PhotoOverlay. That’s yet another way for showing Street View, and that is definitely a cool way to view them in GE!
    What Barry did was take the PhotoOverlayCreator (found here: by Digitalurban to create a panorama of the Street View and convert it into a Photo Overlay KML file for viewing in GE.
    Maybe Google has plans to do something like this on the fly for use in GE? That would be cool…

  4. My most liked combination of StreetView and Google Earth ist using GlobeGlider. I fly to the street I’d like to look at, start the StreetView from GlobeGlider’s menu and maximize the SV frame.
    Now I navigate on streetlevel within the StreetView frame (I created a profile for my SpaceNavigator), drive through the streets, look around, zoom in and out. Every time I move within SV, GE reloads the camera position and follows the route you drive in SV. When passing an interesting building I can change the profile of SpaceNavigator back to original function and fly around in the 3d viewer of GE. So I can discover a building or look around from every perspective. To move on, I need to switch back to SV and drive further. SV is the “master” of navigation, GE will follow your position.
    Then I active Microsofts 2D Bird’s eye view in the left map of GlobeGlider. It’s position is also updated immidiately.
    With this combination I can drive down a street, the left map follows me like from a helicopter in in the 3d Window of GE I can keep the overview. Or I can look at the streetlevel. Or I can switch to original behaviour of SpaceNavigator and fly around. When finished looking at a house, I switch back (enter my car) and go on driving down the street.

  5. You could make a model large box in sketchup and stick the photos on to it(still in sketchup) and upload it to google earth

  6. Those dinosaurs are here in Indianapolis. I’ve driven past them several times, and I used to work at the Children’s Museum. Just thought I’d share. What’s the consensus on Street View heading outside the US and being visible inside Google Earth? It’s an acceptable step toward a Second Life-like experience inside Google Earth, which is one of my fondest wishes.

  7. Hey!!! there is street view in google earth!!! u just have to download google earth pro!

  8. rohithkumar says

    your creation rocks

  9. Been using street views and it is great. But I can’t figure which compass direction I am looking when I open the view. Is the center of the thumb view N, E, S or W? And is the direction always the same.

  10. Nolan Owens says

    For the next edition, or this edition of google earth, they should also include how the city would be in the near futre to like 2050. We would preview projected neighborhoods, and projected businesses.

  11. Jürg Elsner says

    Isn’t there a possibility to have a little map displayed in an angle of the Street View picture in order to know where one is and in which direction one looks – one looses easily the orientation while wandering around. I’ve seen this feature in television, but wasn’t able to create it…

  12. I was using the street view option last nite for quite some time, when all of a sudden, I got an error message that Google Earth had to close. Now, I cna’t use the street view option. What happened and how do I fix it?

  13. I want to create some street views. How do I contact Google Earth or get access to a Street View camera to be able to create content and put it online?

  14. My Google Earth has done the same as Scotts. I get an error message saying Google Earth has to close down and I too can’t use Street View anymore. I’m so annoyed, I loved it.

  15. hi, there is no option in Google earth for “Street View”. Please help..

  16. Hi I Want To Create Some Street Veiws On Google Earth,But I Want To Know,How Do I Make Any?

  17. would like to view and explore my city

  18. hey this thing is eating up a lot of trafic.I have a small bandwidth,please specify its data transfer rates…….

  19. Street view disappeared from my Google Earth installation. I have made no changes to the program settings… It just won’t work. No sign that it has ever even been there, except my own memory of using it just a couple days ago. I can live with the fact that most of the overhead images look like crap, but losing Street View is too much.

  20. John Atkinson says

    I have Google Earth but there is no Street View in the Layers section … I have used it before, so, where did it go?

  21. Paul Inight says

    I,d like to know how to turn on Street view on google earth. I used to have it, but cant find how to operate it, anyone knows can you email me, on,thanks Paul.

  22. How to find street view – Above zoom in/out icon on right of screen (below compass) – hover mouse over the gold person icon. This is street view, drag to the street you want to use street view on.

  23. The view of our house is old and is full of builders rubble after an extension was put on. It looks really bad. How can I get it changed

  24. I love the street view in Google maps! Its a good tool to choose where to go on holidays:)

  25. I have GE and it does not show Street view nor the check box in the layers section of the side bar.
    I am using OSX 10.6.8 an it worked fine until a few days ago then suddenly was no longer available on my mail system nor on my older G4 laptop.
    What happened?

  26. almavydarmaen says

    I really like using google earth because it really helps me in my studies about Earth Science a lot!!! I’m hoping to see a lot of improvements in the future>>:)

  27. Why in the world can’t you make it EASY for computer novices like myself to use GOOGLE EARTH STREET VIEW? A friend of mine in Italy gave me her address. Her address and a picture of her house are on Google Street view, but no matter how hard I try I can’t access it!!! Why not make it so you can just type i n the address on Google and automatically the Street View would come up??? PLEASE HELP!!! Frustrated, D.S.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.