The problem with most maps is that they're usually just symbolic depictions of things: roads, buildings, bodies of water, parks, mountains, and so on. Wouldn't it be nice to have a map that goes beyond general references and actually shows the location that you're looking for in detail, so that you actually have an idea of what it looks like when you get there? "Satellite View" on Google Maps is here to help, letting you see actual photographs and 3D models of a location from a bird's-eye view!
Go to www.google.com/maps in your web browser.
In the lower-left corner of the screen, you'll see a panel that says either Earth or Satellite. Just click it, and presto! Google Maps will change to Satellite View!
When you're using Satellite View, there are two special controls that you can use, and they'll appear in the bottom-right corner next to the other controls.
Click the arrows on either side of the compass icon to rotate your view of the map towards a certain direction. To tell which direction you're facing, remember that the red part of the compass needle points north.
You can also click the button below the compass icon to tilt your view of the map up or down. This can help you get a better idea of the elevation/height of certain objects.
If you want to switch back to the Traditional Map View, just click Map in the bottom-left corner.
And that, in a nutshell, is what Google Maps Satellite View is all about!
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