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google earth

Google Earth - free to download

Read these tips before you download Google Earth - for free. The program is now so powerful that it is essential to understand settings and layers before you start. These tips should help you get the most out of the most amazing piece of free software ever written. Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips. You can fly like a bird from one place to another and call up map overlays to find anything from a pizza to traffic details. You can download Google Earth free by visiting the Google Earth home page. Before you do, use these tips as your guide.
Virtual Globe             "For anyone who has ever dreamed of flying..." - NY Timeslinux logomac logowindows logo
google earthgoogle earth google earth       The idea is simple. It's a globe that sits inside your computer. You point and zoom to any place on the planet that you want to explore. Satellite images and local facts zoom into view. Some key features:
  • Fly from space to your neighborhood. Type in an address and zoom right in.
  • Search for schools, parks, restaurants, and hotels. Get driving directions.
  • Tilt and rotate the view to see 3D terrain and buildings.

google earthGoogle Earth Community http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb is a large user forum where you can find lots of information on adding dynamic data layers, free 3D models, current events, etc.

If you have an Android phone, iPhone or iPad, head for the app download page and start exploring Google Earth on your mobile device. Tilting the phone and seeing the landscape adjust is a whole new experience...


Google Earth Tipslinux logomac logowindows logo
Bing Maps Platform

Once you have downloaded Google Earth, you will be exploring the various settings and layers. The first thing to do is to go to Preferences and select "show tips at startup" - an easy way to learn many new features.
To the bottom left of the globe you see the layers: tick only a few to avoid clutter. Generally the top 4 are the most essential but make sure to explore the 3D building layer, especially when flying around (see below). The Gallery covers various aspects, from earthquakes to tourist hotspots - some in amazing photographic detail (try flying into the Gigapan photo of Picadilly Circus, London).

Flying. Even though advanced flight simulator plugins are available, they are not needed for an amazingly rich flight experience: simply select a destination in the top left search box and click "fly to ..". You are immediately taken acoss the landscape to your chosen destination, with flight speed automatically adjusted for the distance travelled. Fasten your seatbelt now ...



S4F Images
Google Earth Alternatives: Bing Maps linux logomac logowindows logo
Bing Maps Platform

Bing Maps Platform
The Bing Maps Platform http://www.bing.com/maps/ is a browser based virtual globe that displays both 2D and 3D mapping.
The imagery includes samples taken by satellite sensors, aerial cameras (including 45 degree oblique "bird's eye" aerial imagery licensed from Pictometry), Streetside imagery, 3D city models and terrain.Bing Maps Platform

  • Satellite images with 45-degree-angle views of buildings and neighborhoods  
  • Satellite images with street map overlays  
  • Ability to add local data layers, such as showing local businesses or restaurants

The vivid, photorealistic images in Streetside™ and bird’s eye views present data in context while simplifying orientation and navigation. The standard and custom data points and layers can be displayed with different themes.



Bing Maps Platform Yahoo Maps Platform linux logomac logowindows logo

Yahoo Maps http://maps.yahoo.com as used by the MercedesBenz in-car sytem, is not as fully featured as Google maps or Bing maps. However, it presents a well designed user interface and is generally a robust and responsive platform.


MapQuest
mapquest
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Mapquest

Mapquest.com MapQuest is an Internet map service. It is owned by AOL Time Warner. It is a huge digital directory and is integrated into many applications, Internet and mobile services and business databases.
It is simple to use online for free maps, driving directions and live traffic reports.
Mapquest is also available on its own portable GPD device.