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How to Measure a Roof with Google Earth

Roof Online Staff

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Click on the images to enlarge them.

Keep in mind that this measuring technique is only usefully accurate for low-slope or “flat” roofs, and satellite images will not help you find the pitch of a roof.

To find the area of a pitched roof, see How to Find the Area of a Sloped Roof.

And even “flat roofs” usually have a little bit of a slope, so you might want to use a roof pitch multiplier once you have your area figured out.

1. Download and Install Google Earth

The first thing you need to do is download and install Google Earth Pro.

Google Earth Pro used to be the paid version of Google Earth (it used to cost $400 a year about ten years ago), but it’s free now.

It includes tools that weren’t available on basic Google Earth, the most relevant tool being a measuring tool that allows you to measure the area of a polygon.

You can download it at: https://www.google.com/earth/versions/

2. Open Google Earth

Once you’ve installed Google Earth Pro, open it. You’ll see an image of the Earth along with various menus and tools around the edge of the screen:

3. Uncheck “3D Buildings” Box

Make sure the box for “3D Buildings” is NOT checked. 3D Buildings mode can interfere with your measurements.

The 3D Buildings option is located under the “Layers” menu on the bottom of the right side of your screen:

4. Search for the Address of the Building 

At the top left of the screen, you’ll see a search field. Enter the address of the building you want to measure in the search field and click on “Search”:

This will put a pin on the location and the image field will zoom to the location and center itself on the pin so that you can see your roof: