Precedent – Google Earth

Google Earth is one of the the most powerful applications in the world. Providing users the ability to travel the entire world from any device. With their newest update, Google Earth now has the feature of seeing 3D landmarks, from mountains to famous cities. Instead of being a flat image, they protrude out of the ground, representing real life models of the object.

Who doesn’t want to see the entire earth and explore it? Although this could appeal to anyone, the main target would be researchers, travelers or students. They would use this tool to understand more about the world or location without having to travel to that destination, or space.

What knowledge does it assume about the audience?
Basic understanding of how to move a 3D model around like dragging your mouse around to rotate and zooming in using the mouse wheel on track pad gestures. Besides simple movement, the user needs to know about the geography of the world, where countries are and how to get there using the movement tools.

The layout is clean and minimal buttons and content are given to the user. However this is done to draw attention to the main piece of content, the world. You can’t judge the design of the world really, however they have done an amazing job of making it look realistic. Using a space image as a background and adding a shadow to represent night and day, Google Earth has made it seem like we are actually staring at earth. In terms of UI we have a side bar non navigational tasks such as searching or random place finder. To the bottom right we have the main navigation system where we can zoom, find our location, have a Google Street view of a location and compass with the world to show us where we in relation to the entire world.

How can you improve the world? Well I don’t think you can, however having more features would be nice. A history of images to see differences in water levels, snow, deserts, etc would give us an understanding of changes happening in our world. Besides that this application is built by one of the highest achieving companies in the world and they have certainly made an outstanding job of this application.


Featured Image: Google Earth – Google Earth. (2017). Google Earth. Retrieved 7 May 2017, from


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