When scouting a new location for a photoshoot or even giving directions to someone that you are working with can be tricky at times. You can always check on line for published pictures and descriptions however this may not always give you the information that you want or need. GPS in phones and cars can be very helpful getting to a location, except that not everything has an exact street address. Providing latitude and longitude can confuse some non teckies and not all GPS devices allow this function.
Google Earth has been around for quite a few years, and the 'pro' version is even free to download from the net. The opening screen looks like a view of earth from space and as you enter an address or name of a company the programs zooms to that location to give you an aerial view of that location. You can also view street names as with many other mapping programs.
As you zoom in, you can also get a street view as if you were standing in front of the location that you have searched. You could potentially 'walk around' your location using arrow keys on the keyboard. Unfortunately, the program at this level is photograph based and the images may not be current. In addition, depending upon the speed and graphic processor in your computer crude polygons may appear at moderate zoom levels when "walking around" your location.
Despite this limitation, Google earth does allow some interesting features such as the ability to add custom photo's to the map and to email the view directly to a co-worker or client. You can even measure distance from one point to another with a electronic ruler. Of course you can save locations for reference in the future.
Although Google Earth is a little dated, it can still be a time saver and even provide you yet another tool in your arsenal either for your personal or professional needs. The program can be downloaded directly from the net and will reside on your computer at no cost.