With GExplorer you are given a helicopter style experience where you can walk through a scenery, fly over it or orbit points of interest. GExplorer give you a flexibility in navigation that was previously only possible using expensive dedicated computer hardware. Below you find an overview of the GExplorer key assignments and how you can use them best.

Keyboard

Let's first list a plain list of key assignments:

LEFT or ATurn left. Decreases your heading.
RIGHT or DTurn right. increases your heading.
UP or WMoves you forward.
DOWN or SMoves you backward
SHIFTIncreases your height above the ground
CTRLDecreases your height above the ground
ZHold and use with the turn keys to Strafe or Sidestep.
< or >Use to Strafe or Sidestep.
SPACE or XHold down for Boost mode. Move 4 times faster.
LToggle labels on and off.
BToggle buildings on and off.
GToggle grey low-res buildings on and off.
PRestart Mouse Pause which disables GExplorer for 3 seconds.
F4Toggle screen overlays on/off (Great for screnshots).

The key assignments are choosen in such a way that directional control and height adjustments are easy to make with a sigle hand on both the WASD and cursor keys.

Mouse

Move left/rightPlacement of the cursor left or right of the scene center causes you to turn in that direction. You turn faster when you move the cursor further away from the scene center.
Move up/downThis only causes the view to tilt up or down. Further away from the center causes an increased tilt up to 90 degrees.
ClickInstantly freezes all motion. The mouse will not be responsive for the next 2 seconds. This allows you to move the mouse out of the scene as to maintain your current viewing angles.
OtherAll other actions are default Google Earth behaviour

Note: Any mouse movement in over the 3D scene automatically switches the turn keys into Sidestep mode for the next 3 seconds.

How to use it all

With GExplorer being such an intuitive contol system it is actually hard to explain the finer points in control. It is a bit like trying to explain a learner driver to turn the wheel of the car one and a half times to make a sharp turn.

Fantastic cinematic effect are possible when you combine the turn and sidestep modes.

Orbiting

Orbiting around an object is a common operation that you need whenever you want to inspect a point of interest from all sides such as a building or an entire vulcano. An orbit is nothing more than a combination or side stepping and turning at the same time. GExplorer makes this operation extremely easy by combining the use of cursor keys with the mouse. You simply keep the cursor on the object you want to orbit around and press one of the turn keys.

The diagam above shows how you can orbit around a point looking inward or outward. If you keep the mouse in the center of the scene while pressing a turn key you will find you move sideways in a straight line. You orbit facing inwards when your mouse is to the left of center and you press the right turn key or vice versa. Outward orbiting takes place when both the mouse and turn key are in the same direction. This is the theory but you won't care because it feels natural when you try it.

 

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