About Tour Builder

What is Tour Builder?

Tour Builder is a new way to show people the places you've visited and the experiences you had along the way using Google Earth. It lets you pick the locations right on the map, add in photos, text, and video, and then share your creation.

What inspired the creation of Tour Builder?

We originally created Tour Builder to give veterans a way to record all the places that military service has taken them, and preserve their stories and memories as a legacy for their families. But we also thought it could be a useful tool for anyone with a story to tell, so we made it available to everyone.

What are your long-term plans for Tour Builder?

For now, Tour Builder is in beta and we're excited to see what people build and do with it. We'd love to hear your feedback and ideas about how it could be a better storytelling tool. Take it for a spin and tell us what you think here.

Which platforms and browsers can I view tours on?

Currently, Tour Builder requires the Google Earth plugin which is only available for Windows and Mac OS X 10.6+.

What is the Google Earth plug-in and why do I need it to view tours?

The Google Earth Browser Plug-in brings the rich, 3D imagery of Google Earth to your web browser. You'll need it to experience other people's tours and pick your locations on the map.

How is Tour Builder different from the existing "KML Tour" feature in Google Earth?

Tour Builder is accessible from your web browser, makes it easy to add photos and videos to a sequence of locations on Earth, and then share links to these tours with your friends.

What are the content policies for creating tours?

You can read the Tour Builder Content Policy here.

Using Tourbuilder

Why do I need to sign in with a Google account to create tours?

Your Google account gives you a place to save your tours and share them with your friends and family. Learn more about Google accounts here.

Do I have to be signed in to view tours?

No, you can view "Featured tours" from the Gallery page and any tours shared with you via email without signing in. To create your own tour, you will need to sign in with your Google account.

How do I enable/disable the lines between each placemark?

Not every experience can be told the same way. So we created three different types of storylines that you start with - Linear, Hub, and Disabled. These control how the lines between your pins are drawn, and hence how your story will progress. To change your "Type of Story", go to your Tour Introduction panel - the first square in your tour navigation. The drop-down default is "Linear", which will draw lines between each placemark in your story creating a linear storyline. The next option is "Hub", which can be used to create a central placemark with lines spiraling out and to surrounding placemarks. The last option is "Disabled", which removes the lines between placemarks entirely for stories that are not tied to a particular timeline.

How do I upload images or videos to my tour?

In both the Introduction panel and the Placemark panels, you have the ability to add multiple images and videos via the large field labeled "Add Photo". From here you can upload from your local computer, from your Google Drive or Picasa account, or from anywhere on the internet via Google Search.

Who can see my tour once I've made it?

Only you: your tour is private by default. Once you've finished your tour, just click "share tour" to share it with your friends and family or make it public for anyone to see.

Can I update my tour after creating it?

Yes. You can always can go back and edit your tour on the map: add pins, delete pins, make pins private, etc.

Once I've shared a tour, can I go back and make it private?

Yes. You can always go back and mark your tour as private after sharing it. Anyone who received a link to your tour before you marked it private will be notified that the tour settings have changed.