Google Maps and Google Earth are two different products. The first one offers street maps, 360-degree panoramic views of streets, real-time traffic conditions, public transportation etc., Google Earth shows 3D satellite data, but it lacks point-to-point navigation. Both applications are rich in features and can be used for creating maps that can be presented in front of a public. If you’re undecided which application has more interesting features, we’ll compare the two and you’ll get to a conclusion.
Both Google Maps and Google Earth allow you to add pushpins containing text, images and video, to draw lines, polygons and to import GPS data. Google Map was developed from the beginning by Google and it was launched 11 years ago, while Earth came 14 years, it was initially named EarthViewer 3D and it was created by created by Keyhole, Inc., which Google has acquired in 2014. Unfortunately, this software hasn’t received any new updates since 2013 and it’s beginning to look obsolete, crashing sometimes, when it’s intensively used. For example, there is a glitch that prevents Mac users from embedding a video into a pushpin, but the Windows PC users have no problem with that.
Though, Google Earth has its advantages, being used as a presentation tool, because it’s more dynamic. In Maps, in order to navigate through locations, the users are limited to clicking through them in the sidebar, or they just click and drag the maps around. When adding locations to Earth, an automated tour is generated and when the users click the play icon, the tour is launched. The position and zoom levels for locations can be controlled by setting the view as a snapshot, and the users can even add voice-descriptions by clicking the Record a Tour icon.
Earth has another unique feature, which was removed from Map, and it allows users to overlay maps and images onto the base map. So, when creating a presentation, this feature will offers 3D models of buildings, among other data and the layers can be toggled off if the user no longer wants to “play” with them.
Presentations can be saved as KMZ files, which are archived XML files, and they can be either uploaded to Maps, or used later, without the overlays.