Google Earth A to Z: Buildings and Borders

layers.jpgGoogle Earth contains a huge number of layers on the left side of your screen, but there are only a handful of them that I leave enabled virtually all of the time. Two of those are the Borders and Labels and 3D Buildings layers, as they’re both very useful.
Borders and Labels
The “Borders and Labels” layer consists of two sub-layers, and each of those consists of a handful of layers under them. The [Borders] layer is primarily used to draw the outlines of countries, coastlines, states and other borders. This will also show the names of countries and states. The [Labels] layer will show you the names of rivers, mountain ranges, islands and cities.
When flying around in Google Earth, having the Borders and Labels layer enabled is the best way to get your bearings and understand where you are.
3D Buildings
I love the 3D Buildings layer in Google Earth. Over the past six years, it has become remarkably realistic and it’s continuing to get better.


The buildings can be stunningly realistic, and the addition of trees in Google Earth 6.0 took it to a whole new level.
3D Trees

Of course, Google is going to be giving large cities a major 3D makeover in the coming months. We still haven’t seen any of the new 3D features in person, nor is there a release date for them, but the early peeks have been very impressive.

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. Google Earth Layers are very important for viewing in different angles. Viewing with 3D buildings & boundaries is option which make it feel like as we are viewing earth Via Sky. Thanks Google.

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