Google Earth Vs ArcGIS

Google Earth Vs ArcGIS

Google earth is one of the most common applications used for locating places on the earth surface. ArcGIS on the other hand, is used to map out locations on the earth surface and then carry out various analyses on the selected place on the earth surface using a variety of tools available on the program. Below are some of the differences between the two popular tools.


Google Earth:

1. Mostly used by civilians: Google earth is an open source program that is mostly used by civilians to map out various locations on the surface of the earth. It can easily be downloaded and installed on the PC and usage is immediate.

2. It can be downloaded as an app on a PC or Mobile: Google earth can be downloaded either on a mobile smartphone or on a personal computer and then used to map out various locations on the earth’s surface.

3. Allows users to upload their data on the program using Keyhole Markup Language: Google earth gives users the ability to upload their own data on the program using tools such as Keyhole ML and then manipulate the data to suit their needs.

4. Has a variety of tools on its desktop application: Google earth has a variety of tools on its desktop version that allows users to view various places on the surface of the earth in 3D and also see certain landmarks.

5. It comes with a flight simulator game: The good thing about Google earth is that it also comes with an additional flight simulator game on its interface that keeps its users entertained while using the application.

6. Easier to use: Google earth has an easy user interface that makes it easy to use the platform. It does not require any additional features or calculations before usage. After installation, usage can be instant.

7. Has a 360 degree panoramic view of landmarks: Google earth offers a panoramic view of some of the landmarks and other features which gives a real-time feeling of some of the features on land.

8. It is free: Google earth is available for free and can easily be downloaded and installed on a PC or a mobile device. Usage of the platform is easy and instant.

9. Can be used by any end user: Google earth does not require any specialized training to download, install and use. It does not require any analyses of the data or landmarks on it.

10. Easily accessible: Google earth is easily accessible either on the phone or a personal computer.



1. Mainly used to provide infrastructure for maps creation:
ArcGIS is a platform that offers scientist an opportunity to create maps through cartography.

2. Mostly used by Organizations and communities: ArcGIS is mostly used by corporations and organizations and not by individuals like Google earth.

3. Allows users to perform 3D analysis: ArcGIS is designed with more advanced features that allows its users to perform analyses of places and maps on the earth surface.

4. Mainly used for customization and manipulation of maps: ArcGIS is not only used to search places on the earth surface but also for customization and manipulation of maps.

5. It is not free: ArcGIS comes with a free version that does not have advanced features. To access the advanced features, a premium version which needs to be paid for must be purchased.

6. Allows users to manipulate sections of the map: ArcGIS has additional features that allows users to manipulate sections of a map and carry out extensive analyses of the places, a feature not available on Google earth.

7. Requires skills to analyze and customize:
In order to effectively work with ArcGIS, one needs specialized skills relating to data analyses. This is not mandatory with Google earth.

8. Allows you to create a report and present: ArcGIS allows users to create reports from its dashboard and present the report based on the data bias selected from the platform.

9. Difficult to administer: It is a little difficult to administer ArcGIS because of the technical complexities of the platform.

10. Not easily accessible: ArcGIS is not easily accessible since it must be purchased. This is why it is mostly used by huge corporations and not individuals.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Thank you for this article. I think it’s cool that you brought attention to ArcGIS by comparing it with Google Earth, which many people use. However, I think a more appropriate comparison would be between Google Earth and Esri’s free offering: ArcGIS Earth. Read more about ArcGIS Earth here:

    1. Thanks for the info Laban

  2. It seems this article may be a bit dated.
    ArcGIS now has a very similar web app (also called “…..Earth”). There has also bbeen for sometime ArcGIS online and ArcGIS explorer moble app

    1. Thank JX

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