Here is a Google Earth KML network link that displays a big variety of tile based online maps (road maps, terrain and contour maps, alternative satellite image sets, etc) in the area you are currently viewing.
This allows you to use your favourite map in 3D together with other Google Earth layers to plan a trip, perform geospatial analyses, or simply have better map sources where the data provided by Google is not as good:
Currently, 45 different map sources are supported. Most of these maps are based on OpenStreetMap, but there also layers for Google Maps, Bing Maps and an extensive list of regional map providers. You can switch between maps by clicking on them in the side bar:
Whenever you change the view in Google Earth, the image overlays are automatically updated. Zoom levels for map tiles are calculated independently for different regions in the Google Earth screen, based on distance to the virtual camera and on latitude. Consequently, maps are updated very quickly and the number of map tiles loaded per update is more or less constant, even if the view in Google Earth is tilted.
Some more questions about how it works are covered in the FAQ.
To get started, simply download the file(please log in first, see here why) and open it in Google Earth. It contains all map sources that this application provides (version 8).
Alternatively, separate KML network links for groups of maps or even individual map sources can be found here:
|OpenStreetMap Mapnik||MapQuest Open Mapnik||MapQuest Open Aerial||OpenStreetMap Koomot|
|OpenStreetMap Hikebikemap||OpenStreetMap Cycle Map||OpenStreetMap Public Transport||Cloudmade The Original|
|Cloudmade Fine Line||Cloudmade Tourist||Cloudmade Red Alert||Cloudmade Fresh|
|Cloudmade Pale Dawn||Cloudmade Midnight Commander||OpenStreetMap GPS Traces||OpenStreetMap Mapnik B&W|
|European Maps OpenTopoMap||Outdooractive Maps Germany||Outdooractive Maps Austria||Outdooractive Maps South Tyrol|
|Norgeskart Maps (Norway) Topo (Land)||Norgeskart Maps (Norway) Topo Grayscale||Norgeskart Maps (Norway) Sea (Sjø)||Norgeskart Maps (Norway) Base (Enkel)|
|European Maps 2GIS (Russia)||European Maps Freemap Hiking (Slovakia)||European Maps TRAIL.PL OSM TOPO (Poland)|
|North American Maps OSM Terrain US||USGS The National Map Area Fills||USGS The National Map Structures||USGS The National Map Contours|
|USGS The National Map Hydrography|
Do you have comments, bug reports, or suggestions for other map sources? Please leave them below.