You are here: 

Dr. Alice Christie's GE Frequently Asked Questions

GoogleEarth Logo

What can you measure with the measuring tool?
  • The length or width of any physical object visible in Google Earth
    • buildings, ships, airport runways, tractor trailers, fields, forests, etc.
    • islands, rivers, lakes, or oceans
    • towns, counties, states, countries, continents
  • The height of buildings
  • The distance between any two points
    • as the crow flies
    • along established highways, roads, paths, or rivers
  • More on the Google Earth Measuring Tool
How do I locate the different layers in Google Earth?
  • The layers feature is found in the lower left panel of Google Earth. If it is not visible, go to View > Side Bar and it will appear. The Layers feature provides a variety of data points of geographic interest that you can select to display over your viewing area.
  • To view a specific layer, click the box to the left of the layer name. That layer will appear on my Google Earth map.
  • Many layers have sub-layers. To view sub-layers, click the down arrow on any layer to show the sub-layers. To view a specific sub-layer, click the box to the left of the sub-layer name. That sub-layer will appear on my Google Earth map. See examples below:

Example 1

  • Layer: Geographic Web
  • Sub-layer: Wikipedia

wiki layer

Example 2

  • Layer: Gallery
  • Sub-layer: Google Book Search

book search layer

Example 3

  • Layer: Gallery
  • Sub-layer: NASA
  • Sub-sub-layer: Earth City Lights
Earth lights layer

Example 4 - The following geographic features are available in Google Earth:


  • Layer: Gallery
  • Sub-Layer: Volcanoes

GE Layer


  • Layer: Gallery
  • Sub-Layer: Earthquakes

GE Layer

Geographic Features

  • Layer: Places of Interest

  • Sub-Layer: Geographic Features

GE Layer

  • At this time, there is no layer on US cencus data, but new layers are added frequently as Google creates partnerships with various data-rich organizations and efforts.
  • To get a "clean" map, uncheck all layers.
  • More about Google Earth Layers
How do I locate and view Dr. Christie's Google Earth Videos/Movies?
  • All of Dr. Christie's GE Videos/Movies are available online and can be viewed with QuickTime Player. Click here to view videos. A description of how she made each movie is found below each movie.
In what languages is Google Earth available?

In addition to English, Google Eath is availiable in the folowing languages:


Arabic French Japanese Portuguese
Czech German Korean Russian
Dutch Italian Polish Spanish


Is there an archive of sample Google Earth lessons anywhere online?

Currently, there is no central archive of GE lessons. However, there are several collections of GE lessons at the following sites:


Language Arts






















The Arts




Foreign Language









What is Google Sky and How Does It Work?

Google Sky can be viewed in both Google Maps and Google Earth.

  • Google Maps: viewable through an Interent browser
  • Google Earth: part of the most recent version of Google Earth

Click the planet icon to switch from Google Earth to Google Sky.

Sky Layer

The Sky Layers panel will appear in the bottom left of your screen. Each of the layers shown at the right is expandable to sub-layers.

Sky Layer

Our Solar System sub-layer is shown to the right. It provides an introduction, views and information about the earth's moon, and views and information about all of the planets.

Sky Layer

The Featured Observatories sub-layer is shown to the right. Each observatory provides photos taken from that site.

Sky Layer

More Questions and Answers Coming Soon!