Google Map Instuctions
Learning how to use Google Maps is simple, while reading the following instructions on how to use Google Maps, try bringing up Google Maps in a separate browser window and practicing while you read.
Using Drag and Drop
The easiest way to navigate Google Maps is by using drag-and-drop techniques. To accomplish this, you to move the mouse cursor to an area of the map, hold down the left mouse button, and while keeping the mouse button held down, move the mouse cursor in the direction opposite of what you want to show on the map.
To zoom in and out with the mouse, you can use the mouse wheel between the two mouse buttons. Moving the wheel forward will zoom in, and moving it backward will zoom out. If you do not have a mouse wheel on your mouse, you can zoom in and out using the navigation icons on the left side of Google Maps.
Understanding the Maps Menu
At the top of Google Maps are a few buttons that change how Google Maps looks and operates.
This button puts Google Maps in "map" view, which is the default view. This view is similar to a street map. It has a gray background. Small roads are colored white, larger roads are yellow, and major highways and interstates are colored orange.
This button paints Google Maps with a Satellite overlay which allows you to see the area as it is seen from above. In this mode, you can zoom in until you can make out individual houses.
This button highlights differences in terrain. It can be used to determine whether an area is flat or rocky. This can also give an interesting view when zooming into a mountainous area.
Navigating With The Menu
You can also use the navigation menu on the far left side to manipulate the map. This provides an alternative to using drag-and-drop to navigate.
At the top of this navigation menu are four arrows, one pointing in each direction. Clicking on an arrow will move the map in that direction. Clicking on the button in between these arrows will center the map on the default location.
Below these arrows is a plus sign and a minus sign separated by what looks like a railroad track. These buttons allow you to zoom in and out. You can zoom in by clicking on the plus sign and zoom out by clicking on the minus sign. You can also click on a portion of the railroad track to zoom in to that level.