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10 things you didn't know about Google Maps and Google Earth

Mike Bedford | May 6, 2013
We explore some of the less well known features of Google Earth and Maps

7. Don't think of Google Maps as a universal panacea because there are some places you can't see. In North Korea, for example you don't have access to detailed maps, although you can see just a few roads and low-resolution satellite imagery. There are some places in the West you can't see in detail too - try this for example.

Google Maps Noordwijk

8. If you're an Android user you've probably discovered the Google Maps app but you might not have realised that it can be used offline too. Normally, of course, you receive the map data via Wi-Fi or 3G but if you travel in out-of-the-way places, you might find yourself with no network coverage. If you anticipate this eventuality, though, you can download the relevant portion of the map before you go (tap the menu button in Maps and choose 'Make available offline'.

Google Maps Android Offline

9. Using Google Maps doesn't have to be a passive experience. You can define your own points of interest or routes, together with descriptions and photographs, that others can see superimposed on the map. Take a look at Create and Share Custom Google Maps to see how to do it. Also, you can now submit corrections and add information with Google Map Maker (

Google Map Maker

10. You can even create your own 3D models of buildings to view in Google Maps or Google Earth using either SketchUp or Building Maker. If you fancy trying your hand at this, Your World in 3D should be your first port of call.


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