How to Change Map Styles in Google Earth – And Why

The web version of Google Earth has improved a lot since its launch five years ago. One of those improvements is found in the number of ways that you can customize the map style displayed when you are viewing and creating projects in Google Earth. 

In this new video I demonstrate how to change the map styles that you see in the web version of Google Earth. The video includes customizing the display of borders, labels, landmarks, landmark types, live cloud cover, and more. 

Applications for Education

One of the benefits of customizing the map style in Google Earth becomes evident when using some inexpensive Chromebooks and or slow Internet connections. Turning off some of the map style features like 3D buildings and live cloud cover can make Google Earth load faster. 

From an instructional standpoint, adjusting the map style in Google Earth can be helpful to you and your students. For example, when starting a geography lesson about a region of the world you may want to turn off the state and province borders to show just the country borders. Or take it step further and turn off all borders and have students attempt to identify a country by the landmarks that are displayed on the map that you’re showing to them.