The legal uses of Google Earth

We get emails quite often from readers asking about permission to use Google Earth data in various projects. Unfortunately, we’re not in a position to answer those questions, and Google used to typically refer users to simply review the standard Google Earth Terms of Service.

Fortunately, back in 2011 Google created a better solution with with the Geo Permissions Website. It uses a simple wizard interface to walk you through your project, then helps you determine if that action is permitted with the Google Geo product that you selected (Earth, Maps, etc).

Here’s a quick video that shows how it works:

There are a lot of amazing uses for Google Earth and Google Maps, and the Geo Permissions tool will help you to make sure you are building your project in a way that Google will approve of you.

Always remember that if you build something noteworthy using Google Earth, let us know about it so we can feature it here on the site!

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. Or you can use other sources of geographic data that do not require you to build your project in a way that Google will approve –

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