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Fly Your Penguin On Google Earth - page 3

Download and Go

  • June 13, 2006
  • By Rob Reilly

Take the Fry's Electronics in Sunnyvale, California, for example. The company showroom has tons of parts, software, and various other geeky type articles in a super-store type layout. Just punch the name and city into the 'What' and 'Where' boxes under the 'Find Business' side bar tab, on the left. Several Fry's will show up on the map. You can then move and zoom right down to easily see the building and parking lots. Can't quite make out license plates... but still.

The lower left side bar also has a list of features and filters that you can turn on and off. For example, if you want to see overlayed 3D building check that box on the list. Then any building that has been added to the Google Earth database will be displayed when you fly near it. You can display icons for places to eat and show airports or roads. Some list items even have multiple levels, activated by clicking the nearby '+' sign.

One thing you'll want to try is the ruler tool under the main 'Tools' tab. Checking the ruler item brings up a little control box. You can select the units of measure and clear the selections with this box.

My driveway measures 16 feet 4 inches wide at the curb. I measured 14.72 feet with the ruler tool. I'd say that's pretty darn close and completely usable.

You can even click the 'Path' tab and make multiple clicks to measure a route.

Other features include a legend scale, longitude/latitude grids, various levels of location annotation, and full screen mode. You'll just have to download and explore for yourself.

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