Why you can trust us

Engadget has been testing and reviewing consumer tech since 2004. Our stories may include affiliate links; if you buy something through a link, we may earn a commission. Read more about how we evaluate products.

Google Earth's new creation tools help you tell stories

You can weave personal narratives around the places you care about.

Google Earth offered community tour-building features for a while, but the attention shifted to professional "Voyager" stories after the big redesign in 2017. Now, however, Google is swinging its attention back to stories from everyday users. It's introducing creation tools in Google Earth's web version to help you tell your own tales. You can draw place markers, lines and shapes, attach your own media (including full-screen slides) and choose specific 3D or Street View angles. Chain these items together and you can create tours that reflect your personal narrative, or even the 'hidden' history that doesn't always show up in textbooks.

You can't create stories in Google Earth's mobile apps, but you can share them anywhere and invite other would-be cartographers to collaborate. Google envisions this as a tool for not just individuals, but for classrooms, environmental groups and others that want to visualize data in a more exciting way than they could with static maps.