Google adds Helicopter view to Google Maps

Posted by Prashant on October 3, 2011 in Google

helicopter view

Google Maps are now enabled with helicopter view which allows you to view the route in an interactive 3d animation that can be paused and replayed too. Although only a select few might actually travel using a helicopter but helicopter view gives a nice aerial view of the area you will be passing through. User can choose any mode of transport and then choose to view the 3D animation of the route. If you like a particular area in your travelling route, you can pause the 3D animation and can explore that particular area in detail. When ready to move ahead, just click on resume to start the 3D animation from where you paused it.

Google Maps Engineer ‘Paul Yang’ posted on Google Lat Long Blog “Getting directions is one of the most popular features on Google Maps, whether it be for driving, walking, biking or transit. Today, we are launching a new feature that allows you to bring your upcoming trip to life, by allowing you to preview your route in 3D.”

3d_maps_viewStep1 : Plan the route

To view any route in Helicopter view, firstly go ahead and search for a route for e.g “Statue of Liberty, NY to Times Square Towers, New York, NY” and click ‘Get Directions’. This will show you the directions to your chosen destination based on your transport medium like By driving, By Public transport, Bicycle or Walking.

Step2: Switch to 3d View to start the animation

Click on ‘3D’ button next to the route direction to start loading the map in 3D view using Google Earth. As you traverse ahead in the route, your directions on the left bar will be highlighted to show the area you’re currently viewing.
Note: If you don’t have Google Earth Plugin installed then you might not see the 3D button. You need to install the plugin to view the helicopter view.

Step3: Pause the animation and view the surroundings

Click anywhere inside the 3d animation view or click pause button in the bottom left of the map. Now you can explore the surrounding near the paused area and once done resume the animation. By clicking the 2d button in the left hand sidebar, you can also switch to the 2D view.


In the past few days, Google maps were integrated with Google Plus and also enabled users to share maps using short URL. We expect to see more updates to Google maps in the near future.

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