Great enhancements to the mountains in Google Earth

While Google continues to add great new features and tons of new imagery to Google Earth, they want to be clear that they’re not forgetting about some of the basic layers such as the Mountains and Water bodies.
A few days ago they pushed out an update to the Mountains layer which includes some powerful new features, including a detailed information window, Panoramio photos, cross-section views of the mountain and tours that they’ve created for every mountain. For example, here is a video showing the tour of the Matterhorn:

For this feature to work, you need to enable the “Mountains” layer on the left-hand panel in Google Earth. Of course, an increasingly difficult challenge is finding the proper layers as Google continues to add more of them. For the Mountains, you’ll find it under “Borders and Labels” –> “Labels” –> “Mountains”, as shown here:

In addition to the mountain layer changes, they’ve added thousands of new labels to the “Water Bodies” layer, which can be found just below the “Mountains” layer in the image above.
Hopefully Google will continue to finesse the organization of the layers section and make it easier to find the hidden gems like this one.
For more about the enhancements to the Mountains layer, check out this entry in the Google Lat Long Blog.

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. Stryker Jenkins says:

    What is the minimum hight of the the terrain changes for it to show up in Google Earth? E.g. the sea defenses (dykes) in the Netherlands are between 12 and 18 meter above the surrounding land / sea level and they don’t show up

  2. An interesting additional layer, and good that it works in GE 5.2. But a tour of a mountain does create a temporary place in your ‘my places’ which you have to decide whether to save or not via a dialogue before you close GE – a bit of a fiddle.
    Could not agree more with the comments about improving the organisation of layers, and more linked background information/metadata about the content of layers is also needed

  3. Paul van Dinther says:

    Nice new feature, I do think that the “Tour” for this simple orbit is a lost opportunity. I could have created a series of much more innovative and visually interesting camera animations that would not clash with the terrain.

  4. Where does one go to tell Google they have errors in the data? For example, they have ‘lions head’ and ‘signal hill’ on top of Table mountain (they should be further to the right) and there is no ‘Table Mountain’ icon.

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