Find yourself on Google Earth!


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Find yourself on Google Earth!

An aerial view of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

What's coming up?

It's easy to find your way around in Google Earth so you can explore every corner of the world.

In this activity, you'll learn about searching for locations, zooming and the Street View function.

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A regular atlas

A typical paper atlas offers a view of the entire world and maps of most of the countries, but there's obviously not enough room to include every suburb of every city. Google Earth offers so much more.

A close-up photo of a traditional atlas with a pin marking somewhere in Europe.
A screenshot of the Google Earth starting page, where you see the Earth from space.

Much more than a regular atlas

Google Earth starts with the view from space and lets you click anywhere on the globe to zoom in. As you do, the map automatically adds more detail, from international borders and the names of cities, to the details of the terrain.

See more or less

From the main control menu, the List icon (it looks like three horizontal lines) provides a range of options for how maps will appear, including.

  • Map Style: add borders, landmarks, roads labels and more.
  • Settings: choose units of measurement.
  • Photos: see photos of landmarks.
An illustration outlining the ‘list’ menu icon in the top left corner of the Google Earth page.
An illustration of the Google Earth search function.

Search for things

The Search function in the main control menu lets you type in a location you want to visit.

You can enter the name of a continent, region, country, state, city, suburb or street to zoom there across the globe. It can also understand search queries like capital of France.

Apart from places, you can also search for buildings, stores and other landmarks by name.

Narrow it down

In Google Earth, you can even narrow your search to a specific address. Typing 140 George St, The Rocks, NSW into the Search field, for example, returns an aerial view of the Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay in Sydney.

A screenshot of what you see on Google Earth when you search for ‘140 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney’. We can see an aerial photo of Circular Quay and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
An illustration of the search function on Google Earth with an imaginary home address inputted into it.

Find yourself

Now that you know how to use some of the features of Google Earth, type your own address into the Search window and see what happens.

Don’t forget to check Photos to see images around your home, and Map Styles for additional information about landmarks and places.

A padlock representing online safety.

eSafety tip

When you use Google Earth, you’re looking at recent aerial and ground-level photos rather than real-time images. That means people can't use Google Earth to spy on you.

True or False?

Click on each card to find the answer.

You can only search for cities and countries on Google Earth.

Click to flip

This is false, you can also search for continents, states, exact addresses, suburbs, buildings landmarks and even shops!

You can search for a phrase such as capital of Canada or a phrase like coffee in London.

Click to flip

This is true! Try searching for library in Darwin to see what libraries you can visit in Darwin.


You’ve completed the Find yourself on Google Earth! activity. You've learned that it's easy to find any location in the world – even your own home – and then zoom in to get a good look.

Next, you'll learn how to delve a little deeper into Google Earth in the activity Exploring the world with Google Earth.

A father and his adult son looking at a Google Earth on a tablet and finding their location together.