So I downloaded Google Earth the other day at work, and my days have gone by faster ever since. When I first started using it, I simply typed in random places and looked around. This was pretty cool because I could look at places I had never been before. But then…
The Flight Simulator
I noticed under Tools in the menu bar, that there was a option to “Enter Flight Simulator.” Hmm, I thought, I wonder what this does?
As it turns out, it actually lets you fly a plane around anywhere you choose. You can choose between a jet or a slower airplane depending on how fast you want to go. I prefer the jet when I am flying long distances since it moves a lot faster.
Here are a few places I went and checked out this morning:
View of Sears Tower in the background
San Francisco, California
Golden Gate Bridge off in the backround
View of Mt. Everest from 29,000 Feet
Pretty Cool Huh?
I thought this would have been known by everyone already, but it turned out hardly anyone that I work with new about this feature. The best part of all, is some computers allow you to install Google Earth without administrative rights.
If you can’t install it yourself, you could always make a notion that you need it for work related things and the IT department may just give it to you. Little do they know, your basically going to use it as a video game. SShhh….
The only downside, is that the 3D Buildings option never stays on when you enter the Flight Simulator mode. So the workaround to this, is to start the Flight Simulator, and then click on View and show the sidebar. From there, you can check the “3D Buildings” box under the layers Section. Once you check it, simply go back to View and turn the sidebar off.
It is a little hard at first to learn how to use the Flight Simulator in Google Earth. The main thing you need to know is that the thrust is controlled by using the “Page Up” and Page Down” keys.
I prefer to use the “Current View” option when starting the Flight Simulator. That way, you can find the place you want to fly around, then start in the air already instead of taking off from an airport.