The Difference Between Google Earth and Google Maps
Explaining the differences between Google Earth and Google Maps - Interface
For starters, there is one clear difference between Google Earth and Google Maps. To use Google Maps, you need to type maps.google.com into your browser, while anyone wishing to use Google Earth must first download the client application (see above). One other notable difference is the level of zoom. With Google Earth, you can view the entire planet from above as a globe.
Released in 2005, Google Earth combines satellite images with aerial photography and provides a view of the entire planet. Conversely, Google Maps almost exclusively uses satellite images and is restricted to parts of the planet that can be accessed by road and foot. Google Earth features coverage of the poles, where Google Maps does not. One result of this difference, in focus, is a lack of accurate detail in Google Earth. When viewing cities, some road names and locations are found to be inaccurate.
Google Earth can also be used to replicate real world geographic features. Data collected by NASA has been applied to the data elevation model (DEM) to recreate the Grand Canyon in three dimensions. Google Maps cannot do this; although, Street View provides at street level panoramic images of many towns and cities around the world.
Google Earth also offers a range of alternative views that Google Maps simple cannot. Google Mars and Google Sky offer satellite views of the Red Planet and the Heavens, while Google Moon has also been available since the 2009 40th anniversary of the first moon landing.