Parents' Guide to

Google Earth

By Leslie Crenna, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Must-see geographic exploration tool; watch for iffy videos.

Google Earth Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 2+

Come for the breathable air, stay for the consumer reviews...

Google Earth - the best guide to my favorite world to shop on. A perfect storm of a planet, full of everything you need and everything you don't. Chaotic retail layout, but that's sort of the point.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 5+

Common Sense Media does not know how to rate

Just an earth app. STUPID CSM! No YouTube videos No iffy content

This title has:

Easy to play/use

Privacy Rating Warning

  • Personal information is not sold or rented to third parties.
  • Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.
  • Data are collected by third-parties for their own purposes.
  • User's information is used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Data profiles are created and used for personalised advertisements.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (8 ):

Google Earth is an outstanding and unprecedented resource for curious explorers. You can see a satellite view of your own home, famous landmarks, contours of the ocean floor, and open terrain -- all with astonishing detail. You can also share screen shots or submit your own ground-level photos for display on Google Earth. Layers function allows you to display information about notable places, businesses, and relevant outside websites including Wikipedia entries. It's a little creepy to consider that privacy has been altered so dramatically, but at the same time, how cool to be able to zero in on the home of your third cousin on the other side of the country to see where your great-grandfather was born.

The app search function is not nearly as powerful as the PC version, and controls are not entirely intuitive (but help and tutorial provide relatively clear explanations) and screen navigation can lead to selecting informational icons by accident. Loading time can be slow depending on virtual altitude and connection speed, and image quality is occasionally poor. Icons can litter the display when all layers are selected. Most importantly, because the app allows access to YouTube, kids can easily stumble onto (or search for) very iffy content. A setting to block this functionality would be a major improvement.

App Details

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