Assuming that you learned a lot in Parts 1 and 2 of this series, you probably are now ready to tackle some of the more advanced features of Google Earth. One exciting development is that Google Earth Pro has recently become a free service, no longer requiring a subscription. This gives everyone access to a variety of great tools, including search by Parcel Number, lot lines, parcel data and several other features. If you are a Google Earth fan, you definitely should check it out.
Step 8: Historical Imagery
Are you interested in seeing how an area has changed over the past few years? Is a cloud obscuring your satellite view? Google Earth has the answer to both problems. Click on the Historical Imagery button on the top row (it looks like a clock) and you can see past satellite images of the area. In some areas, Google Earth might have a new satellite image every six months, whereas in some areas, they only have one every few years.
These images reveal what a difference Historical Imagery can make. This is the same location outside of Pahoa, Hawaii, and it is easy to see the difference that can occur over six months:
Step 9: Sunrise, Sunset
Next to the Historical Imagery button, there is a button that looks like the sun rising over the horizon. This button will let you adjust the time of the image you are viewing to different times of day. This can be a real advantage when searching for the optimum light to view your property, or if would like to know how shadows from trees, hills and other landmarks will fall across a valley.
Fun Stuff: Flight Simulator, Sky View
When you are finished with your serious research, Google Earth also offers some fun diversions:
- View the constellations with Sky View.
- Enter a Flight Simulator and fly a virtual plane across the landscape of your choice.
- View fascinating sites or Historic landmarks, such as:
- The Boneyard – Davis Monthan Air Force Base: 16639, -110.85565
- A Herd of Elephants (zoom in): 90359, -19.9327
- Museum Tour – Search for Capitoline Museums and then enter Street View
Google Earth is a fabulous tool for property owners, as well as a fun way to spend an hour or so discovering the world. Explore what Google Earth can offer you.