Is it possible to exactly set the scale in Google Earth?

By “exactly” I mean entering a concrete number, either the scale ratio (natural length to length on screen; of course this depends on knowing the display's DPI) or the length of the scale bar shown on the lower left.

The latter would be preferable, because I'd like to have “nice” numbers at the scale bar. Using the mouse or keyboard controls for zooming to a nice number is quite hard, even when pressing the Alt key for slower speed.

2 Answers 2


Seems that GoogleEarth not have possibilites like GoogleMaps with zooming URL tricks something like "&z=22".

BUT you can use the ALT key in combination with most of keystrokes (keyboard shortcuts) to move more slowly in the indicated direction. That gives you the fine grain control you're asking for:

  • holding down the Alt key when using the +/- keys to zoom allows much finer control of the zoom, and hence scale bar values
  • or use PgUp and PgDn keys (which I prefer) for zoom in/out.

Google Earth

There's a zoom setting in the URL, for example in:


That's the default view over Tokyo for my current window size.

The 484703.29596881d part is the "distance to your eye", so to speak (in meteres).

Google Maps

You can also set an exact height in Satellite view. The URL will look like:


That's Mexico City for me.

The 52143m part is the "eye distance" (52143 meters?)

Equal scales

Idk how to turn these settings into arbitrary scales, and also that ultimately depends on the size of your your screen. But I find them super useful to compare different places e.g. using 2 windows tiled side by side. Here's Los Angeles vs Tokyo (at the latter's default scale since it's larger):

enter image description here

  • Note that for cities at different elevations, you should adjust the height accordingly, e.g. Mexico City is ard. 2200m high on avg, so you's add that to the number for a correct comparison. In the sample above both LA and Tokyo touch sea level so it's fair. Jan 4, 2023 at 7:06

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