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Cool Ways to Use Google Earth

written by: Jennifer Claerr•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 10/7/2011

There's a lot of fun stuff to explore in Google Earth. Find out about cool features such as Ancient Rome 3D, 360 Cities and Gigapan Photos in this useful and free app.

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    Let Your Exploration Begin

    earth Google Earth is a free program that has many cool features you can explore. In fact, there is so much cool stuff in Google Earth, it's easy to get lost and confused. However, if you take the time to learn about these features, you can enjoy them thoroughly without any frustration. To use these features in Google Earth, you will need to download the most recent version of the program. Check the Google Earth help pages to ensure that your computer meets the recommended system requirements before attempting installation. Also, some of the features within Google Earth may have their own separate system requirements.

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    Ancient Rome 3D - Rome Reborn

    Using Ancient Rome 3D in Google Earth, you can explore Rome as it appeared in 320 A.D. This feature can be enabled within the "Gallery" section under "Layers." By clicking on yellow icons within the Ancient Rome 3D interface, you can get information about important buildings and landmarks from the Rome Reborn project. To use the Ancient Rome 3D interface, first download the terrain, then download the landmarks and the buildings in 3D. Once the download is complete, you can navigate through 3D buildings of ancient Rome within Google Earth. Use the right mouse button to turn the interface in three dimensions and view the virtual reconstructions of Roman monuments such as the Colosseum, the Baths of Trajan and the Circus Maximus.

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    360 Cities

    leaningtower 360 Cities in Google Earth offers 360 degree panoramic views of interesting landmarks, attractions, and monuments in cities around the world. With 360 cities, you can see a full panoramic view of places such as the Louvre in Paris, the Vatican in Rome, the leaning tower in Pisa, Buckingham Palace in London, the Empire State Building in New York City, the Acropolis in Greece and many more. Check "360 Cities" under "Gallery." Then, under "Fly to," search on the city, landmark, or monument you would like to view. If panoramic views are available, a red circle with "360" will appear on the map. Zoom in and double-click the red icon to enter the view. Click on any spot within the photo to move around the scene.

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    Gigapan Photos

    lincoln Gigapan photos are one cool feature of Google Earth. Gigapan Photos are ultra high resolution photos and panoramic views that you can browse in Google Earth. There are many Gigapan views of natural settings such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Aspen mountain in Colorado, and Yosemite Park in California. However, you can also find Gigapan photos and panoramas of landmarks such as the Smithsonian Museum, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, and Times Square in New York. Most of the Gigapan Photos appear to be in the United States, but there are also some in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. You can fly into the Gigapan Photos within Google Earth by double-clicking them. You can then zoom in or out of the high resolution photo, or grab the photo with the mouse to move around the panoramic view.

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    Sightseeing Tours

    eiffeltower  There is a pre-set sightseeing tour that comes with Google Earth. This 3D tour takes you around the world to fascinating cities and landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Sydney, Australia, the St. Peters Basilica in Rome, the London Eye, the Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean, the Forbidden City in China, and Mount Fuji. Before you take a Sightseeing Tour, make sure that the 3D layer is enabled. When you arrive at one point in the Sightseeing Tour, you can explore as long as you like. You can then move on to the next point in the tour by clicking the "Play" button on the lower left hand section of the screen. You can record your own sightseeing tour by clicking the "Record Tour" button at the top of the Google Earth screen. Press the red button to record, then navigate to the places you'd like to tour within Google Earth. As you move around the scene with your mouse, Google Earth will record the movements. Press the red button again to stop the recording.

    These tips should help you to get started exploring the cool features in Google Earth. As you can see, cool stuff in Google Earth is near limitless. Google will add more features, attractions, and destinations as time goes on. To find out more about the cool stuff in this free software program, read How to Use the Google Earth Flight Simulator.

*Please note - the author received 'Google Earth' from a company other than Bright Hub in order to develop the content contained within this article or review.