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The ten best things you can do with Google Earth

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#8 - Be an aircraft

In my opinion, one of the neatest new features in the latest beta of Version 4 is the ability to use a joystick to fly around the Earth! Any kind of joystick should work. While a "flight stick" is probably recommended, I use my cheap Gravis Gamepad (similar to a PlayStation controller) and it's a blast!

Flying through Atlanta

Setting it up is easy. First, of course, make sure your controller is plugged in. Next, go into [Tools] --> [Options], go to the "Navigation" tab and look at the "Navigation Mode" and "Controller Settings", as shown below:

Navigation Options

In the "Controller Settings" area, make sure that "Enable Controller" is checked. Then, choose "Flight Control" from the "Navigation Mode" area. Be aware that this will make your mouse go NUTS when using Google Earth, so you'll probably want to change it back to "Pan and Zoom" when you're done flying.

Also, it's important to turn on "3D Buildings" in the layers section on the left side of your Google Earth window in order to be able to fly between buildings.

The controls vary based on the type of joystick you're using, but it should be pretty easy to pick up. Happy flying!

<-- #9 - Aircraft in flight   -----   #7 - Map quirks -->

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