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Difference Between Google Maps and Google Earth

Google Maps vs Google Earth

Google Maps and Google Earth are two mapping software from Google that lets you look at the surface of the earth through a series of satellite images that are combined to form a comprehensive view of the earth. The main difference is in how they are accessed. Google Earth is a stand-alone application that needs to be downloaded and installed on your computer before you can use it. On the other hand, Google Earth is an online service that is hosted and run by Google. You simply need to go to the Google Maps site using your favorite browser and you are good to go.

The main advantage of Google Earth is the huge amount of resources that it can use since it is running locally on your machine. This allows the Google Earth application to perform much faster and with better features. Browsers were designed to have limited access to resources to prevent malicious people from gaining control of a computer that visits their site. For this reason, Google Maps are restricted to the browser. Users of Google Maps also need to have a speedy internet connection in order to talk to the Google Maps server. It the connection is very poor, the images make take a long time to load or even fail to in certain instances.

Google Maps is not without its own advantages though. Since it is an online application, anyone with any operating system is able to use Google Maps as long as they have a current internet browser. You can only get Google Earth for a few of the most used operating systems like Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Google Maps is completely free as Google does not require any user to pay or even register to use their service. This is also true for Google Earth as a free version is available for download on their site. But for companies who want more from the basic functions, there is a pro version of Google Earth that requires a license and fee to use. No such equivalent exists for Google Maps.


1. Google Maps is an online application while Google Earth is a standard application

2. Google Maps is limited to the browser while Google Earth has more UI freedom

3. Google Maps can be used in just about any operating system while Google Earth is restricted to a few

4. Google Maps is absolutely free while a pro version exists for Google Earth at a fee

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  1. What a nice information and to the point.

  2. Why do Google Earth and Google Maps use different satellite images? Google Maps appears to be at least 4 years out of date. Know this because Maps has an image of a property pre renovation from no later than mid 2007. Earth has an image that is around mid 2009 or later.

  3. I would like to know what is different about WHAT THEY EACH DO, not how they do it or whether one has a Premium paid version while the other doesn’t. You must have some accountants in your family because this article was just as accurate and just as useless as a quarterly report.

  4. Excellent write-up. I certainly appreciate this site.
    Keep it up!

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