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The Route: 3D Route in Google Earth

Google Earth showing my tubewalking routes around the Tower of London
My District line tubewalk visits the Tower of London in the foreground, while my Central line route passes through the City a little further to the north

If you'd like to enjoy the experience of tubewalking all over London without leaving your armchair, then you can do just that using Google Earth (which you can download for free). I've put together a file containing details of Tube lines that you can load into Google Earth, and fly along the route in three dimensions, zooming in on places of interest and examining every single footstep of my walk as if you were a London pigeon. All you need to do is:

And hey presto! Google Earth loads up my route, ready for you to explore. Enjoy!

Some Basic Instructions

Google Earth showing the Metropolitan line
Looking east along the Metropolitan line, with Amersham and Chesham in the foreground and the City in the distance

For detailed instructions on using Google Earth, I refer you to the Help system that comes with the software, but here's a quick guide on using my route file.

Using the Places Panel

Google Earth showing my tubewalk around Heathrow Airport
A bird's-eye view of my tubewalk around Heathrow Airport on the Piccadilly line

Along the left-hand side of the application you should be able to see the Places panel. This lists all the different sets of placemarks in my route file, and by ticking and unticking the various boxes, you can hide or show various types of feature, namely the route of my tubewalk, Tube stations, Tube lines, points of interest and photographs along the way.

Taking a 3D Walk Along the Route

Google Earth showing the Tube network
The Tube network from above

If you want to follow the route in 3D, first make sure the 'Terrain' box in the Layers pane is ticked (or, for earlier versions, tick the 'Terrain' box below the main screen). This makes hilly country appear in 3D, though the flatter parts of the country will only look hilly if you zoom in very close. Also, it's worth ticking the '3D Buildings' box, as there are quite a few 3D buildings in London.


Here are a couple of caveats when using my Google Earth route file:

That's it – I hope you enjoy exploring the route.