Getting started with Google Earth

I’ve had a few people email me recently and ask essentially the same question:
“I’m new to Google Earth. What can I do to learn more about it?”
If you’re a new user, or a veteran user wanting to learn more, this post should give you some direction. In no particular order, here are some places to learn more about Google Earth: — The official home of Google Earth on the web has a ton of great info. In particular, check out their Beginner Tutorials to learn some of the basics.
Our “Google Earth Basics” page — Frank assembled this page when Google Earth first came out, and the various sections are updated periodically to keep things current. It’s a great resource for learning the basics such as how to navigate, using the overview map, working with historical imagery and much more.
• Our Recent Archives Simply view the archives on the side of the page to see our recent posts to catch up with the latest Google Earth news. You can even focus on our “Google Earth News” category to only see the latest updates from Google (new imagery, new features, etc).
• A community such as the Google Earth Community or Google Earth Hacks — Finding places where you can talk to other Google Earth Users is a great way to ask questions, share information, and learn more about the great things you can do with Google Earth.
My Twitter “Geo” list — I’ve created a list on Twitter (a group of people to follow) that is focused specifically on Geo-related users and includes 55 people so far. You’ll find people like:
— Google Employees Bruce Polderman, Mike Pegg and Mano Marks.
— Info from other sites like Ogle Earth and Google Maps Mania.
— 3D modelers like Kevin DeVito or the official 3D Warehouse account.
— Imagery providers such as TeleAtlas and GeoEye.
Beyond that, just dig in! Play with the built-in layers, search for fun places to visit, and just get familiar with moving around the globe.
If you have any other great “getting started” sources to add, please leave a comment on this post and let us know!

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. I used Google Earth when I was a Microsoft XP user but had to do without it when I installed a Linux operating sydtem.
    Finally Google Earth was available for Linux, hopefully more applications will be available for Linux and more people will wake up to the fact that Linux operating systems are superior to Microsoft.
    Not having to be concerned about viruses and spy ware was enough to sell it to me.

  2. Those looking to learn more about individual layers in Google Earth might be interested in

  3. How can I download Google Earth? Is it free?

  4. When I zoom in on a location the picture is blurry and out of focus whats wrong?

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