Hidden features of Google Earth: Fly me to the moon
How the features you may not have spotted in Google Earth will let you explore anywhere on the planet and beyond.
Explore the Moon
By selecting Moon from the top toolbar you can use the 'Moon' programme.
The feature offers tours of lunar landing sites, narrated by some of the Apollo astronauts who went there.
You can also view 3D models of the spacecraft that have landed on the Moon as well as zooming in to see the footprints that astronauts left on the surface.
Take a trip to Mars
With 'Mars' in Google Earth you can view images uploaded by NASA's rovers and other missions to the Red Planet.
Visitors can explore historical maps of the planet drawn up by astronomers through the years.
There is also a narrated interactive tour of Mars.
Three dimensional models of the Mars rovers Curiosity, Opportunity and Spirit can also be viewed and those wanting to track their, admittedly slow, progress across the Martian surface during their missions can see 360 degree panoramas from the missions.
Google Earth can also be used to search for Martian landmarks such as the Olympus Mons which is the largest volcano in the Solar System and nearly three times as tall as Mount Everest.
View trees in all their 3D glory
With 3D imagary in Google Earth 7 you can take flight over entire metropolitan areas.
You can also explore 3D trees all over the world including more than 50 different species from city parks to remote forests.
Build your own house in 3D
With the "3D Buildings" layer in Google Earth, anyone can view 3D models of buildings, monuments, fountains, bridges, towers, museums, homes and much more.
You can see famous scyscrapers, sports stadiums and castles and palaces and click on them to open a balloon for more information.
You can also build a 3D representation of your own house or place of work by positioning building blocks on top of aerial images.
These can then be saved to the Google Warehouse where it will be approved by Google Earth and may be included in the programme
Explore the oceans
With the 'Ocean' programme, you can travel to the sea bed to see dramatic landscapes including underwater volcanoes lofty peaks, wide plains and deep valleys.
Researchers have used Google Earth to see details of earthquake faults and underwater landslides.
You can also view more specific areas like the world's best dive and surfing spots.
Shipwrecks such as the Titanic are also able to be explored.
Become an armchair astronomer
In addition to browsing the Earth, Google Earth allows you to view heavenly objects, including stars, constellations, galaxies, planets such as Mars and the Earth's moon.
To view these objects, click View and then 'Switch to Sky'. In Sky, the Earth is hidden and the 3D viewer presents a view of the sky.
When you use Sky, the view is above your current location on Earth.
For example, if you go to Paris and open Sky, you will see what is in the sky above Paris at the current time. When you exit Sky, you return to this same location.
You can also view constellations and the movements of the planets.
Soar like a bird
Google Earth has a flight simulator feature which allows you to operate a simulated aircraft using either your mouse or another controller.
It lets you fly around the world in a choice of different planes at a height of 30,000 feet. To enter the flight simulator simply press Ctrl-Alt A.
The simulator offers you two different aircraft and a range of controls to explore the world from above. The Swiss Alps and the Rocky Mountains are both good places to explore using the Simulator.
See what climate change will mean for you
Google Earth also allows you to view climate change scenarios and investigate deforestation with 3D tours through tree canopies.
It also examines adaptation strategies that mitigate the effects of climate change
As the crow flies
With Google Earth you can trace and measure just about any place on the planet. You can draw free-form paths and polygons in the 3D viewer, measure length on the ground or measure 3D buildings
Google engineers have created Liquid galaxy where you can step inside a chamber of monitors arranged in a circle around you and fly anywhere in the world in seconds.
It involves a cluster of computers all running Google to create an immersive experience.
It has been built in Google offices around the world but Google has created a do-it-yourself guide.