How to Activate Bird's Eye Views in Google Maps

By Chris Hoffman

Google Maps includes bird's-eye-view imagery in addition to its satellite and 3D imagery. Once you get close enough to a supported location in satellite-view mode, Google Maps replaces the satellite imagery with bird's-eye view imagery taken from a plane. The bird's-eye view imagery is taken from a 45 degree angle, allowing you to see features that would be hidden in satellite-view mode. Google Maps only has bird's-eye view imagery available for certain cities.

Step 1

Open the Google Maps website at in your Web browser.

Step 2

Enter the name of a city that Google has bird’s-eye-view imagery for in the search box and press “Enter” to go there. You can view a map of locations Google has bird’s-eye imagery for on the 45° Imagery on Google Maps page on the Google Maps website.

Step 3

Click the “Satellite” option at the upper right corner of the map pane to enable satellite view.

Step 4

Zoom in to the location by scrolling up with your mouse wheel or clicking the “+” icon at the left side of the map. The bird’s eye-view imagery appears and replaces the satellite view once you get close enough.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can adjust the angle you’re viewing the location from by clicking and dragging the compass wheel at the top left corner of the Google Maps pane. Adjusting the angle lets you view sides of buildings and other locations that may be obscured.