Going around Charleston on Google Earth

Google Earth is a great product that allows you to go around the world, go to outer space and go down in the ocean without leaving your house. Using satellite imagery, you can see various cities from around the globe. If you’re new in Charleston, or thinking of visiting West Virginia, this is a great tool to help you get familiarized with the city.

Charleston as seen from Google Earth
Charleston as seen from Google Earth

Google Earth is a free product that you can download from the Google Earth Website. Alternatively, if you don’t want to download the program, you can open Google Maps in your website browser.

The West Virginia Capitol from Google Earth
The West Virginia Capitol from Google Earth

In Google Earth, you only need to type in the place you want to see, and it will search through its database and it will take you there. It’s important to give specific addresses, to ensure that you’re in the right place (i.e. using zip codes, state, etc.). Use your mouse to click-drag the map to move it around. You can also zoom in and out, as well as change the angle of your view using the tools in the right-hand side of the screen. You can also view photos and Wikipedia entries of landmarks, as contributed by other users.

Photos of the WV Capitol contributed by users
Photos of the WV Capitol contributed by users

To get driving direction, click on the “View this on Google Maps” link found at the top of the page. This will open your browser to the Google Maps page, at the same location that you were viewing in Google Earth. In Google Maps, the streets are marked, and highways are clearly noted, so it’s easy to familiarize yourself with the city’s roads.


View Larger Map
Route from the State Capitol to the downtown. Click and drag the mouse to navigate around Charleston.

To get driving directions, click on the Get Directions link, found at the upper left side of the map, right under the Google logo. This will ask you for your starting and end point. It will list down possible places, and you only need to select which one you want to travel to and from. Once you have selected, it will give you the driving directions, and well as the distances between turns. There is also an option for walking directions.