Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Google Earth: Philadelphia Virtual Tours

{Google Earth}
Google Earth

Like most computer software, Google Earth can be expected to bring out new versions and updates, regularly. Therefore, it is a little uncertain to depend on precision in the instructions for how to use it for a particular purpose. With that warning that the reader may find it necessary to look around, the following instructions should enable a tour around town, and out to neighboring places of particular interest to Philadelphia. Once you get the hang of it you can take tours of everywhere on earth, so it's a great skill to master.

So, download Google Earth if you don't already have it, and click on the button called "Directions", which you ought to find in the upper left-hand corner of the displayed program. Enter the start of the trip and the destination, click the "play" button or its icon, and sit back. Because Google assumes you want to take the straightest possible high-speed tour, it sometimes isn't suitable for trips along historic roads, or for linking several tours together. Therefore, a trip to Kingston, Ontario (where the Tories fled ) requires at least two trips: one straight north to Doylestown, and then another straight north to Kingston. By doing that, you get the feel for the way the Tories went through the Delaware Water Gap, rather than up the Northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Perhaps in time, the folks at Google will make historic tours possible, but right now this is the only way to accomplish it.

Originally published: Friday, July 30, 2010; most-recently modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2019