How Google Earth Works

Google Earth Search for Business

Photo courtesy of Google Earth™ mapping service

You can save, print or e-mail all of the maps and information you've generated so far. There are buttons in the Google Earth toolbar to accommodate each of these actions.

At this point, let's say the Falcons game is over and you're ready to grab a bite to eat. This is where the find businesses feature comes in.

The first thing we want to do is re-center the map so that the focus in on the Georgia Dome. To do this, we left-click anywhere on the map and drag it upward until the Georgia Dome is centered (alternately, we could also just put "1 Georgia Dome Dr." in the original search box and fly right there -- this would put the Dome in the center, too). You can zoom in now and get a pretty nice view of the Dome.

To find out what restaurants are located in the vicinity of the Georgia Dome, you click on the "Find Businesses" tab and enter, say, "restaurants" in the "What" box and leave the default "Current view" in the "Where" box. When you click on "Begin Search," here's what comes up:

Photo courtesy of Google Earth™ mapping service

The map zoomed out slightly and re-centered itself to fit in the most restaurant results while still keeping the Georgia Dome in sight. But that's not the only way to find restaurants. You can also turn on the "Dining" layer, which doesn't depend on any keywords but instead searches the entire Google "Dining" category for restaurants in the area. Here's what happens when you do that:

Photo courtesy of Google Earth™ mapping service

Now you've got even more options.

In this section, we've covered most of the basic functions of Google Earth. But most of what we've gone over here is covered in other mapping applications as well, although it may not be nearly as pretty as the view in Google Earth. What sets this program apart are the functions that make it a pastime, not just a utility.