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Basic Tips for Google Maps

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Laura Jean Karr•updated: 3/13/2010

Learn a few tips for working with Google Maps.

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    Mapping it Out

    Google Maps, as well as the more encompassing Google Earth, is one of the most major steps forward for internet usability. The days of wrinkled gas station maps are over as we now have online options that allow us to enter directions and resize maps to your liking. There are a few different ways that you can use Google Maps in a way that meets your needs directly.

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    Zoom

    One of the first things you have to identify is how to move the map around and zoom in and out. This is going to be different depending on what kind of device you are on. If you are on a computer you are going to be in the best shape if you have a double click mouse with a scrolling wheel. This wheel can then be used for quick zooms, which makes it easy to zoom in to see a place and just as simple to zoom out to find another. If you are on a personal touch device like an iPhone then it is going to be different. In this case you are likely going to use the same method that you had for enlarging or shrinking any image, which requires placing your fingers onto the image and doing a stretching or shrinking motion.

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    Search

    The likelihood of being able to find an address by simply typing in the numeric location and street is small. Even the most unique name is likely to have dozens of incarnations in just the United States alone. Make sure to enter the complete address, including the city and state, in the search box. This will give you the most accurate results as possible.

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    Computer

    If you are using Google Earth you have even more options. The first thing you have to remember is that this technology is using real time satellite imaging of the present earth. This requires a certain amount of bandwhith and available memory. Make sure that you are using a high speed connection and have at least a relatively up to date computer. Your graphics card is also going to be key for receiving quality images.