VersusGoogle Maps vs Google Earth: Which one should you consider?

Google Maps vs Google Earth: Which one should you consider?

Google Maps and Google Earth are two mapping programs from Google that let you see the surface of the earth through a collection of satellite images. How you get to them is the main difference. Google Earth is a separate program that needs to be downloaded and installed on your computer before you can use it. Google Earth, on the other hand, is a web service that Google hosts and runs. You just need to use your favorite browser to go to the Google Maps website and you’re good to go.

Google Earth’s main benefit is that it can use a lot of your computer’s resources because it runs on your computer. This makes it possible for Google Earth to work much faster and have more features. Browsers were made to have limited access to resources so that people with bad intentions couldn’t take over a computer that visits their site. Because of this, Google Maps can only be used in a browser. People who want to use Google Maps also need a fast internet connection so they can talk to the Google Maps server. If the connection isn’t very good, images might take a long time to load or not load at all.

Google Maps does have some good points, though. Since Google Maps is an online app, it can be used by anyone with any operating system as long as they have a modern web browser. Google Earth is only available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, which are the most popular operating systems.

Google Maps vs Google Earth: Comparison Table

FeatureGoogle MapsGoogle Earth
InterfaceDesigned for 2D map view with street-level detailsProvides both 2D and 3D views with rich satellite imagery
NavigationProvides detailed turn-by-turn directions for driving/walkingLimited navigation features, focuses on exploration
Street ViewOffers street-level imagery of locationsStreet View is integrated, allowing 360-degree panoramas
Third-Party PluginsSupports integration with third-party apps and servicesLimited support for third-party plugins
Developer APIsProvides APIs for developers to integrate Maps functionalityOffers APIs for developers to access Earth’s imagery and data
Web VersionAccessible through a web browserAccessible through a web browser
Official linkVisit WebsiteVisit Website

Google Maps vs Google Earth Navigation

Google Maps vs Google Earth

Google Earth and Google Maps have geocoded information on hundreds of millions of places in more than 220 countries around the world. Google Earth isn’t made to help you get from one place to another, though. Instead, it’s more for getting a bigger picture of the world.

Google Maps, on the other hand, is made for navigation and gives you turn-by-turn directions that you can hear. Using real-time traffic information, you can always find the fastest way to get where you need to go. You can also use it to get real-time information about public transportation and make it show your favorite places.

Google Maps vs Google Earth Historical Imagery

If you want to see pictures from the past, Google Earth has about 20 million satellite images from the last 30 years. Overall, Google Earth is the best way to look at images from the past because it has more than 20 different zoom levels.

Its Landsat gives the best images when seen from a long way away. But if you really want to go deeper into historical photos, you should use Google Earth Pro on your desktop to layer and access all the different slices of time.

Even though Google Maps has satellite imagery built in, there aren’t as many options for historical imagery. Instead, you automatically get the most recent cloud-free aerial shot or satellite image of the area you are interested in.

Google Maps vs Google Earth Exploration

Google Earth is mostly used for virtual trips and tours around the world. It is more about teaching than about fun. For example, Google Earth has a feature called Voyager that is like a map-based story about nature, culture, travel, or history. It also has a feature called “I’m Feeling Lucky” that lets you explore any interesting place in the world.

Google Earth also seems easier to use when it comes to drawing out features. It has a panel that lets you import and export KMZ and KML files, for example. You can change the map and export your features so that they can be used in other programs. By starting a new project, you can also make presentations that take you around the world to see sights or show off other places.

Google Maps vs Google Earth Share Your Location

Google Maps vs Google Earth

There are times when you might want to let a friend or family member know exactly when you’ll be there. Use the “share travel progress” feature on Google Maps to make it easier to let people know when you expect to arrive. At the bottom of the screen, you can see how long it will take to get there. Touch that spot. Click “share travel progress” after that. You can get in touch with whoever you want to let know where you are.

Google will give you a list of suggested contacts, but you can also send an email or text message to let them know where you are. Also, if you’re in a busy public area, it can be hard to figure out exactly where you are. Putting a pin on Google Maps might be helpful in this case.

To put a pin in the right place, just tap and hold on the screen. Then, you can name it and share it with a friend by using the buttons at the bottom of the screen.But you can use Google Earth to show other people amazing places. So, you’ll have to save the URL and send it to them through their social network.

Google Maps: Pros and Cons


  • Provides detailed navigation instructions for driving, walking, and public transportation.
  • Offers additional features like indoor maps, reviews, and business information.


  • Limited 3D view and detailed satellite imagery compared to Google Earth.
  • Does not offer the same level of advanced geospatial data visualization capabilities as Google Earth.

Google Earth: Pros and Cons


  • Provides access to developer APIs for integration and customization.
  • Suitable for educational, research, and exploration purposes.


  • Requires more computing resources and may be slower or require a powerful device to run smoothly.
  • Does not offer real-time traffic information or turn-by-turn navigation.

Which one should you consider?

Google Earth is an interactive map of the whole world that lets you look at images of the earth taken from space. You can fly around the world, zoom in and out to get a closer look, or pan around the planet’s surface. Google Earth is more up-to-date than Google Maps because it has more options and features.

Google Maps is a good choice if you want a map app that gives you detailed information about a certain location. This app gives you detailed driving directions and street view images so you can see what the area looks like when you’re walking or driving.


What is more accurate Google Maps or Google Earth?

Landsat shows the biggest picture, and as you zoom in, you can see more detail. But if you really want to dig deeper into historical images, you can use Google Earth Pro on Desktop to layer and access all the different slices of time.

Is Google Earth map accurate?

The comparisons show that measurements taken from Google Earth images are pretty accurate (RMSE = 0.569 feet) for the typical distances used in accident reconstruction.

Amy Hinckley
Amy Hinckley
The Dell Inspiron 15 that her father purchased from QVC sparked the beginning of her interest in technology. At Bollyinside, Amy Hinckley is in charge of content editing. Emma's interests outside of working include going for bike rides, playing video games, and watching football when she's not at her laptop.
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