The anticipated date of the shut down is July 15th, 2021. Prior to the shut down, you will retain the ability to create new tours, edit existing tours, and continue to share your tour links. You can import your tours into other platforms such as Google Earth for Web or Google Earth Pro.
Once the tool is shut down, links to tours created in Tour Builder will no longer function and data will be permanently and irrevocably deleted.
If a tour has been shared directly with you, you would have received an email with a link to access the tour and an invitation, utilizing your Google account, to view it. As long as the permissions do not change, you will continue to have access to the tour and can export the tour prior to the shut down.
The Tour Builder Gallery and publicly accessible tours should remain available until the Tour Builder shuts down on July 15, 2021. However, authors of publicly accessible tours may opt to make changes to viewing permissions or delete them at any time.
To help prepare for the shutdown, we are excited to share a few different options that will enable you to export your existing tours into Google Earth for Web or Google Earth Pro. We recommend exporting your tour directly in Google Earth for Web, however, we have also outlined your options to work with downloaded KML or CSV files.
If you select the option to “Export to Earth”, your tour will be exported as an Earth project, which will be stored in Google Drive and can be viewed and edited in Google Earth Web. If you select the option to “Download” you will be able to download your tour as a KML file or a CSV file to open in other software.
You can export your tour as an Earth Project in a few easy steps.
Depending on the size of tour you are exporting, the creation of the new project may take a little longer than a tour with a limited number of locations, photos, text and videos.
When you click the ‘Open in Earth’ button in the email, your project will open in ‘Edit Mode’. To see the project in full screen and as a viewer, click the ‘Present’ button.
You can view and share Tour Builder information using KML files with some limitations. KML (Keyhole Markup Language) is a file format created for storing geographic data and associated content with Google Earth. As an open geographic standard, there are many programs that enable you to read and edit the file format. Read on to learn about some of the limitations when using KML files and Google Earth.
You can download your tour as a KML in a few easy steps.
You can view most simple KML files from Tour Builder with Google Earth for Web, however, you may experience issues importing complex KML files.
Another important tip, if you import KML files, you will not be able to convert them to Earth projects (stored in the Cloud), so you will not be able to easily share your KML files with others. To share your KML, you will have to export the file and share it via email, Google Drive, locally for sharing within a private internet or by other means.
If you would like to try out your tour as a KML in, here are the steps.
Google Earth for Web doesn’t yet have all the features that many long-time classic desktop Earth Pro users enjoy. While we build more of these core features into the new Google Earth, we will continue to maintain the classic desktop app. If you have trouble viewing more complex KML files from Tour Builder, try using Google Earth for Desktop (version 7), which supports most KML features.
To learn more about KML, other ways to display geographic data, and optimal ways to share KMLs visit the Google Earth Developer’s site.
Depending on the size of tour you are exporting, the creation of the new Earth project may take a little longer than a tour with a limited number of locations, photos, text, and videos. However, there isn’t a limit to the size of the tour nor the number of times you can export a particular tour.
Look out for an email labeled ‘The export of [Name of the Tour] is complete’ that will have your new project link ready to view in Google Earth for Web!
If you experience any issues, please submit the issue with the Feedback tool on the Tour Builder website, located at the bottom of the website under your Tour navigation buttons. This will send the most information and a screenshot of the issue for our teams to troubleshoot effectively.
Yes, you will have the ability to edit your tour once you export it to Google Earth for Web.
No, when you export your Tour Builder tour to Google Earth for Web you are exporting a copy which is converted to an Earth project. The original Tour Builder tour and the new Earth project are not linked and changes in one will not update the other.
Yes, once you have exported your tour to Google Earth, you will be able to share the project and add multiple editors via Google Drive. This is one of the key benefits of Earth's content tools.
No. You will have the ability to edit the tour created in Tour Builder in Google Earth for Web, however, you will not be able to merge existing projects.
By default, any tours that you export will be private only to you. Only people with the new exported Google Earth links for the web or those that have access to the exported KML file can open the data in Google Earth. To share your project with other people and groups, you will need to adjust the sharing options as you would a Google Doc.
To learn more about setting sharing permissions, visit this page.
It is possible that you will notice a few subtle differences when you export your tours to Google Earth. Fortunately, your original Tours won’t go away so you will have the opportunity to adjust and edit your tours as required.
By default, any tours that you export will be private only to you. Only people with the new exported Google Earth links for web or those that have access to the exported KML file can open the data in Google Earth.
To learn more about setting sharing permissions, visit this page.
There is no limit to the number of times you can export your tours.
All tours created with Tour Builder will be systematically deleted from Google servers following the shut down.
G Suite offers two categories of Google services: Core Services (like Gmail, Drive, Calendar, and Classroom) and Additional Services, like YouTube, Maps, and Blogger. Some services have an individual On or Off control in the Admin console and others don't. Google Earth is an Additional Service for G Suite users, and can be turned On or Off in the Google Admin console. You will need to contact your G Suite administrator or IT admin to change the access to Google services for your account.
With G Suite for Education accounts, tools that are designed for consumer users can be used for educational purposes if allowed by a school’s domain administrator. As an Additional Service, Google Earth requires schools to obtain parental or guardian consent for any minor students they allow to use it.
This article explains more about the differences between Core and Additional Services in education environments. For more information on obtaining parental and guardian consent see this page of the G Suite Admin Help Center.
Take a look at these frequently asked questions. If you don’t find an answer here or in the Help Center articles related to your issue, please create a thread and ask your question so our experts in the Google Earth Help Forum can help you.
You can brush up on the basics of creation tools here or try out this tutorial that will walk you through the process of creating and sharing your own Earth project. You’ll notice that the features and elements are very similar to Tour Builder, with the addition of 3D imagery and much more seamless collaboration when working with multiple project authors.
Here are a few examples of what people are creating with Google Earth’s creation tools:
Both Tour Builder and Google Earth can be explored as logged-out experiences with creation tools and the ability to add locations to projects disabled.
However, if you are already signed into a G Suite domain account and Earth is turned ON as an Additional Service, you will be logged directly into Earth. This is how other Google products work for any user.
Your Google account gives you a place to save your tours and future Earth projects, organize them in Google Drive, and share them easily with your colleagues, friends, and family. Learn more about Google accounts here.
You can learn about Google’s content policies here.
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 Photos account, or from anywhere on the internet via Google Search.
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.
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.
Yes. You can always go back and edit your tour on the map: add pins, delete pins, make pins private, etc.
Yes. You can always go back and mark your tour as private after sharing it.
You can read the Tour Builder Content Policy here.
We highly encourage you to start creating projects in Google Earth! However, if you are looking for support, please create a thread and ask your question so our experts in the Google Earth Help Forum can help you.