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Real-time satellite maps: the best services

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In this review we have collected the best services for viewing real-time satellite maps of the world. All sites work for free and provide satellite online maps without registration.

Table of Contents

Google Maps

The most common service with free online maps. Google Maps app includes not only view from satellite, but many other features, such as

  • creating a custom route;
  • searching for public places;
  • car navigation;
  • downloading offline maps.

Google maps service is used in trackers, pedometers, and most GPS navigators. In addition, Google Street View is the most updated service and has no competitors around the world.

Google Maps app designed not only for viewing satellite images. It does not have many of the features available in Google Earth. For the most part, Google Maps is a handy navigator. It will help you assess the traffic situation, check bus schedules, find a pharmacy, a cafe or a hotel. Besides, Google Maps will not allow you to look at 3D projection of the Earth from space.

Pros:

  • Large variety of satellite maps;
  • High accuracy of GPS positioning;
  • Convenient viewing of maps on almost any mobile devices;
  • Possibility to turn on the hybrid map display mode.

Cons:

  • Limited functionality for street view
  • You can't see real-time maps

Are there panoramic images available

Yes, including the ability to view photos from several years ago.

Can you find your city, street and house

Yes, just type the address into the search box.

View modes available

Maps, terrain, traffic, transportation, biking, satellite.

Frequency of map updates

Maps are updated frequently, but you should keep in mind that not all places are regularly discovered by Google cars to update panoramic images.

Yandex Maps

Yandex Maps is as popular as Google Maps in Russian-speaking countries. The service is optimized much better, and the functionality is almost the same.

The main feature of Yandex Maps is integration with other services from Yandex: cab, delivery, navigator, etc. This is a great advantage for the user, who does not need to switch between different maps.

Like Google Maps, Yandex is good for navigating in the city. They are not adapted to a real-time satellite view of the Earth. However, thanks to the maps, you can find any place at a given address, and requests "where to eat", "cafe", "where to relax" will help find the appropriate institution.

Plus of Yandex Maps app:

  • Good choice of infrastructure in Russian-speaking countries. You can find various stores, cafes, entertainment;
  • In large cities the public transport traffic is displayed in real time;
  • Displaying traffic jams and congestion on the roads. In cities where Yandex Go works, this display is especially useful;
  • Ability to view reviews for public places;
  • Ability to book or reserve a seat in a restaurant;
  • Ability to create bookmarks and your own routes;
  • Weather forecast for each section of the map.

Cons:

  • Yandex maps are not always suitable for long-distance travel;
  • The service will not work abroad;
  • Maps don't work well in small communities.

Are there panoramic images?

Yes, with a convenient display on the map.

Can you find your city, street, house

Yes, you can type an address and get exact coordinates.

View modes

Photo, panorama, satellite, hybrid, schematic for transportation, maps.

Frequency of map updates

Maps are updated often, except for panoramas in some places.

Zoom Earth

Unlike the previous ones, this service is fully focused on viewing photos and maps from satellites. There are no superfluous functions here, the service is not designed to build routes and search for establishments.

Basic functions:

  • Zoom-earth lets you choose the viewing mode: live satellite, daily satellite, and base map.
  • Rain radar, wind radar, forest fire animation, day and night line display, and boundary lines.
  • Via Settings, you can choose the time zone mode and format.
  • Measurement of distance and area. You can select the date for which the satellite images are viewed, and then play an accelerated animation of the selected day.
  • Storm tracking. Zoom-earth shows the name, forecasts, and trajectory in real time.

Is there any panoramic imagery

No.

Can you find your city, street, or home

You can find a place by geolocation or by entering coordinates.

View modes

Three kinds of satellites: Live, Daily and Basic (provided by NASA)

Map update frequency

Satellite images and photos are updated daily.

Google Earth

Google Earth is very popular with travelers around the world. It is one of the oldest web mapping applications. It can be used online via a browser.

There are animations of the globe at your disposal that are a pleasure to look at. It is easy to switch to "panorama" mode by dragging and dropping the human icon on the globe image. You can track your location and watch your home from the satellite.

Maps and satellite images are updated regularly. Panoramas are updated less frequently, because of the complicated technical execution of such pictures. Each satellite photo has the date of capture.

You can either enter the coordinates of the location or the name in the search field. You can use Google Earth as a map. Although it is inferior to Google Maps, where you can continue the route of any complexity.

Google Earth has fun modes such as "I'll get lucky!" which moves you to a random point in the world with a detailed description. You might enjoy spending time exploring maps.

Under "Map Style," you can choose from Earth, Explorer, All, and My Map modes. There you can also adjust the cloud animation, grid and 3D representation of buildings. In "ruler" mode you can determine the distance between objects.

Also in the app there is a compass, zoom and search by coordinates.

Are there panoramic images?

Yes, if you choose a satellite view with the ability to "navigate" through the panorama.

Can you find your city, street, or house

Yes, you can find an address or coordinates.

View modes

Explorer mode with boundaries, locations, and objects. 'All mode' with all boundaries, roads, and routes. "My Map" mode with display of customizable objects. Maps can be displayed both in 3D and normal format when zooming in.

Map Update Frequency

Maps are updated frequently, except for panoramas in some places.

Bing Maps

Simple in design and feature set, the app does not contain anything superfluous. You couldn't expect such a variety of places, and additional features as in Google and Yandex Maps.

It has three viewing modes: maps, a dark theme, and a hybrid of maps on a satellite image. You can tap on a location, zoom in and out, and enter coordinates or an address in the search.

When entering an address, keep in mind that the service is not focused on all countries of the world. Probably, many locations will not be in the list, especially small streets, school buildings, etc. Satellite images are clear and easy to navigate.

Thanks to the "Routes" section you can draw a route by car, on foot or by public transport. Nonetheless, public transport is not available in many cities, so it does not make sense to use the function if you do not live in a major city.

Are there panoramic photos?

No.

Can you find your city, street and house

Yes, but in CIS space the address probably won't work, you'll need to enter coordinates.

View modes

Road, Dark Road, Satellite Hybrid.

Frequency of map updates

Maps are updated rarely.

Ilia is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in GPS and cartography with 15 years of experience. Additionally, Ilia has extensive experience in data recovery on PC and mobile. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions on MGT and answer them.