Add Map Styles and Photos


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Add Map Styles and Photos

A globe of the earth with a laptop computer in the background

What's coming up

There's a wealth of extra information buried in Google Earth, you just need to know where to look.

In this activity, we’ll look at how the Map Style and Photo options add a lot more detail to the maps to help you learn about the world

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Change how much information Google Earth shows

Google Earth is much more than satellite and aerial photos, it also shows a wealth of information.

You can control what information appears by clicking the List icon from the main control menu and choosing the Map Style option.

The map style option selected in the menu on Google Earth
A highlight of the Exploration view in Google Earth

Choose what you can see

By default, Google Earth uses Exploration view, with place names, major roads and international borders added, but you can fine-tune this.

Everything adds features, like roads and landmarks, while Clean view removes all information.

Customise the view

The Custom option in Map Styles shows a huge list of things you can turn on and off. This includes public transport, traffic route numbers, major landmarks and details of local businesses.

All this information can clutter up your maps. If it gets too confusing, just switch back to the default Exploration view.

An illustration of the Customised menu options in Google Earth
An illustration on how other people's photos appear on Google Earth

See other people's travel photos

You can see photos that people have uploaded to Google Earth, including amazing 360-degree panoramas, by clicking the List icon in the main control menu and then enabling Photos.

Photos appear as circles on the map, with a tiny preview of the images taken at that location – just click to scroll through them.

Map Styles and Photos

There is a video on the next slide that will show you more about how Map Styles and Photos work on Google Earth.

On the next slide, click the ‘play’ button to watch the video. You can also click anywhere on the video to pause or restart it.

An icon of a padlock

eSafety Tip: Speed things up

Enabling Photos can clog up the map and slow down Google Earth, especially if you're using a slow computer on a slow broadband connection.

It's best to disable Photos when you're not using it

The Manhattan skyline taken from the north and showing the Empire States Building


Well done – you’ve reached the end of the Add Map Styles and Photos activity.

You've learned how to customise the kinds of information added to maps, as well as see photos that Google Earth users from around the world have uploaded.

Next up, time to become an armchair tourist, in the Take a virtual trip! activity