In Part 1 of this series, we learned how to use Google Earth to find a specific property, and how to view it in four different ways different ways. This blog shares additional insights into using Google Earth:
Step 5: Layers
The sidebar on the left side of your screen contains three sections: The lower left sidebar section is entitled “Layers.” It allows you to turn markers on and off for a number of different landmarks and features. Here are a few other useful layers:
Borders and Labels: This has the most basic features such as international borders, state borders and markers for rivers and mountains.
Roads: Checking this box will outline all major roads and name them when available.
3D Buildings: This feature depicts three-dimensional representations of buildings. With this feature turned off, you will see a top-down view the building.
Weather: This tab has several options, the most useful being the button that allows you to view Conditions and Forecasts. You can see current weather conditions in the area, and also get a weather forecast. This is useful when planning to visit land, as well as to keep track of typical weather patterns in areas you are looking to purchase.
More: Explore all the options available. You will find displays for local parks in the area, traffic patterns, and even Wikipedia entries tagged to the area. It offers a wealth of information, all without having to leaving your computer.
Step 6: Photos
Photos is another option in the Layers Section. When this option is chosen, Google Earth will place a marker wherever a user has taken a photo of the land and upload it to a specific location. Clicking on one of the icons it will expand into a larger picture. This helps users better understand the local terrain and features of interest in the area around a property.
Step 7: Line vs. Path
After finding the interesting landmarks around a property, how do you determine how close they are? In Google Earth’s top bar there is a series of buttons. The fifth from the right is the Ruler. Press this button and a box will pop up with a number of options.
A Line is the first option. Click two points and Google Earth will draw a straight line between them. The second option is a Path. You can click any number of points and Google Earth will draw a straight line between each of them and keep track of the total distance.
Both are useful methods, Use Line if you want to know the cross-country distance between a piece of property and the shoreline of a body of water. If you want to know how far it is by road between your property and the nearest gas station, use the Path. You can change measurements to reflect everything from inches to miles.
There are other fascinating Google Earth tools. Check back for Part 3 of this series to learn about advanced tools and fun activities.