Google Earth A to Z: Street View, Sharing, and Smoots

Street View
Google first added Street View imagery to Google Earth in 2008, and gave it a substantial upgrade in 2010 with the release of Google Earth 6. Rather than having a separate layer for Street View, they added a “pegman” icon to the controls on the right side of the screen, very similar to how it works in Google Maps. Here’s a quick video on how to use it:

There are a variety of different ways to share a file/location with Google Earth, but the two most popular options are:
1 – Save a KML file: Simply right-click an item in your [Places] menu on the left, choose “save place as” and save the file. You can email or post that file wherever you’d like, and others can quickly download and option it.
2 – Use the “Share” options. While in Google Earth, look in the upper-right corner for a variety of ways to share your current view. This post has details about that.

If you’ve ever spent much time with the Ruler tool in Google Earth, you may have noticed a unit of measure called a “smoot”. Back in 1958 at Harvard University, the Harvard Bridge was measured using a student named Oliver Smoot, the result being the bridge was 364.4 smoots long.
It’s a fun easter egg for Google to include, and you can read more about smoots here.

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. Speaking of Street View…
    When will Google finally add Croatia to Street View. Over a year has passed since they started taking photos and still nothing!

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