google earth vs google maps

Google Earth vs Google Maps: Comparative Analysis of Two of the World’s Most Popular Mapping Platforms

Are you looking to explore the world on a broad scale or navigate between places? The debate of Google Earth vs. Google Maps can help you decide which service is right for you!

Quick Summary

  Google Earth vs Google Maps: A Comprehensive Comparison of the World

Google Earth and Google Maps are two of the world’s most popular mapping platforms that provide an array of features and capabilities for users. While both apps can be used to view geographic data, they each offer a particular set of features and view types that users can leverage. Google Earth provides a more immersive experience for users with its 3D view, which allows for exploration of the world from anywhere on the globe. It also allows for flight simulation, which can be used to see iconic landmarks in close detail or take a virtual journey around the planet. Along with viewing roads, buildings, and terrain layers, Google Earth also allows you to view photos, videos, and buildings in 360-degree detail. Google Maps is well known for its routing and navigation features, as well as its street view images that make it easy to identify buildings and landmarks. It also allows users to create custom maps with location markers, route directions, and area boundary lines, as well as use imagery layers such as topography maps, satellite images, and street view images. In addition, Google Maps has an API that developers can use to create location-based apps and interactive user experiences. Overall, Google Earth and Google Maps both offer a comprehensive range of features for users that can be used to explore a region, get directions, or find out more about a location. In terms of overall value, both platforms provide a great balance of features for users, depending on their needs.

Google Earth Vs Google Maps: A Comprehensive Comparison of the World’s Top Mapping Platforms

Overview of Google Earth and Google Maps

Google Earth and Google Maps are both incredibly popular online mapping platforms that allow users to navigate and explore the world around them. Google Earth is a 3D virtual globe, offering a satellite’s-eye view of the Earth, while Google Maps is a web-based 2D mapping tool. Both platforms are constantly being updated to provide the most detailed and accurate images of the world. Google Maps is a great platform for users to quickly pinpoint their desired location and get directions. Meanwhile, Google Earth offers a more immersive experience and takes users on a virtual tour of the world.

Google Earth vs. Google Maps

While each platform offers unique features and advantages, in order to have a comprehensive comparison of Google Earth and Google Maps, let’s consider the following points.

  • Functionality: Google Earth is not just a typical map application, it’s an interactive world exploration tool. It allows users to zoom in and out of locations, and explore areas in 3D. In addition to being a powerful mapping tool, Google Earth includes a specialized suite of tools that can be used to analyze, measure, and explore geographical information. Google Maps, on the other hand, is a web-based mapping service that allows users to quickly pinpoint their desired location and get directions.
  • Geographic Coverage: Google Earth and Google Maps both cover most parts of the Earth, with some exceptions. Google Earth has a little more detailed and accurate mapping coverage than Google Maps.
  • User Interface: The user interface of both Google Earth and Google Maps is relatively easy to use. Google Earth’s interface is slightly more complex than Google Maps, but this helps to make it more immersive and interactive.
  • Data Sources: Google Earth and Google Maps use different data sources. Google Earth utilizes NASA satellite imagery, USGS topographic maps, and pictures from Earth-imaging satellites operated by other countries. Google Maps uses a variety of sources including The National Map from the US Geological Survey, and OpenStreetMap, as well as its own Street View and aerial imagery.
  • Real-Time Data: Google Earth is more closely integrated with real-time data than Google Maps, allowing users to view the most up-to-date information on weather, natural disasters, and world events.
  • Pricing: Google Earth and Google Maps are both freely available and accessible. However, an enterprise license is required to use Google Earth Pro, which offers more advanced features.


Overall, both Google Earth and Google Maps are incredibly useful and powerful mapping tools. They can be used for navigation, exploration, and analysis. Depending on their needs, users can choose the platform that best suits their requirements.

Personal Experience

Why is Google Earth better than Google Maps?

Google Earth and Google Maps are two of the most widely used applications today, both for personal and commercial purposes. I have had the privilege of using both Google Earth and Google Maps for a variety of tasks over the years. Both applications have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the key differences that I have noticed.

Google Earth is a powerful mapping tool, which provides 3D satellite images of the Earth’s surface and allows you to zoom in and out on various areas. It contains a massive database of information, including layers of detailed map data, such as roads and bodies of water. It can also be used to explore places from a different perspective, as its aerial images can be rotated to all angles.

Google Maps, on the other hand, is a mapping application, which provides a more simple map view of the world. It does not contain as much detail as Google Earth, but it is easier to use. The main focus of Google Maps is the navigation, providing real-time traffic updates and directions to a desired destination. Moreover, it supports various features, such as street view and reviews.

In conclusion, Google Earth and Google Maps are both great applications, each with their own set of advantages. Depending on what you need it for, either one could be an effective tool. If you’re looking to explore the world and its remote places, Google Earth is the better choice. If you need to navigate through traffic quickly and efficiently, Google Maps is the right tool for the job.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Google Earth better than Google Maps?

Google Earth is a powerful tool for exploring the world on a global scale. It offers features that go beyond what Google Maps can offer, like 3D imagery, street view tours, and detailed topography maps. Additionally, Google Earth provides access to rich historical imagery, allowing you to view places as they looked in the past, creating an invaluable resource for history and science research.

How is Google Earth different from Google Maps?

Google Earth is a software program that provides a 3D virtual globe, allowing users to explore the world from their desktop or mobile device. In contrast, Google Maps is a web mapping service, providing maps and satellite imagery along with various search and navigation features. With Google Earth, users can fly from space to their neighborhood, search for cities, counties, countries, or terrain and browse the different cultural and geographical layers that appear. Google Maps provides street maps, real-time traffic conditions and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bike, or public transportation.

Can I see humans on Google Earth?

No, you cannot see humans on Google Earth. The 3D imagery captured by Google Earth is taken from aerial images, which only capture buildings and other objects, not people. Therefore, even in the busiest cities, people are not visible.

Does Google Maps and Google Earth use the same data?

No, Google Maps and Google Earth do not use the same data. Google Maps uses navigation, lightweight mapping power, and points of interest, while Google Earth has complete 3D satellite data. Both have different sets of information and do not provide point-to-point navigation.

How do I use Pegman on Google Maps?

To use Pegman on Google Maps, click and drag the Pegman icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. This will enable 3D view and bring up panoramic images of different locations. You can also search for places in the search box and Pegman will help you explore those places in Street View.

Does Google Street View show people?

Yes, Google Street View does show people. However, in order to protect the privacy and anonymity of the people in the images, Google blurs out any car number plates and human faces that are viewable. This allows for an overview of the area without compromising the privacy of the people in the images.

Can Google Street View lead to infringement of user privacy?

Yes, Google Street View can lead to infringement of user privacy. Google does take steps to protect individuals from being identified, but some of the imagery from Street View can still be revealing enough to identify people. In addition, blurring technology may not always be successful, and some individuals’ data may still be exposed.

Does Google Maps notify the other person when you look at their location?

Yes, Google Maps does notify the other person when you look at their location. When the other person has Google Maps notifications turned on, they will get a push notification from Google Maps whenever you view their location. Additionally, up to 5 Location Sharing notifications can be set up for each person who shares their location with you.

Can Google Earth find people?

Yes, Google Earth can find people. By searching for a person’s name in Google Contacts, their address and location can be found on a map. This allows users to easily locate any person they are searching for.

How do you use Google Maps for people?

Google Maps is a powerful tool for easily navigating to a location, finding local businesses and their reviews, and for quickly sharing your own location with others. You can use Google Maps to find and share the exact location of people you know, get directions to someone else’s house, view real-time traffic conditions, create custom maps, and even plan group outings. It’s also great for keeping track of family members and friends when they venture off on their own activities.

Who is the person behind Google Maps?

The person behind Google Maps is Lars and Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen, and Noel Gordon and Stephen Ma. They were the four developers who created the C++ program at the Sydney-based Where 2 Technologies. Google acquired the technology in 2004 and has since used it to create the powerful Maps service we know today.

How do you Google Earth someone?

To Google Earth someone, open Google Earth, copy the URL of the view you are looking at, and use the URL to share your location in messages and on social media. This will provide the recipient with a direct link to the view in Google Earth.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, both Google Earth and Google Maps are two of the world’s most popular and robust mapping platforms, offering millions of geocoded places in over 220 countries worldwide. Both platforms come with powerful features and tools to allow users to explore the Earth and find their way around. However, they are both used for different purposes. Google Earth is better suited for exploring the world from an aerial perspective, whereas Google Maps is better for navigation and finding locations. Ultimately, it’s up to the user to decide which platform best suits their needs.


As an entrepreneur, web developer, writer, and blogger with five years of experience, I have a diverse skillset and a keen interest in staying up-to-date on the latest news, technology, business, and finance. I am committed to producing high-quality content and continuously learning and growing as a professional.
Posts created 4772

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top