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FAQ: Is it possible to use Google Earth images as basemaps in ArcGIS?

Question

Is it possible to use Google Earth images as basemaps in ArcGIS?

Answer

It is not possible to use Google Earth images as basemaps directly with ArcGIS tools, however there is a workaround to this.

  1. Take a screenshot of the tile of interest in Google Earth.
Note:
The Google Earth image can only be used at the scale of the screenshot of the area of interest.
  1. Save the image in the Google Earth application.
  2. Open ArcMap.
  3. From the main toolbar, select Insert > Picture. The saved Google Earth image is imported.
Main toolbar showing Insert Picture

The image does not have spatial information. So, users must define the location of the Google Earth image using map coordinates, and set the data frame's coordinate system in ArcMap. This can be achieved by georeferencing.

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