I am brand new to Google Earth Pro, and in walking through the tutorials, my polygons don't work as they're supposed to. I follow all of the instructions from the Google Earth lessons, but nothing shows up on my earth. The steps I follow:

  1. Fly to address/location;
  2. Click the +Polygon button;
  3. Enter name, choose colors & density, make altitude Relative to Ground at 5 meters, click OK.
  4. Get sad that nothing happens.

I've tried with several different locations, but I get the same result every time.

Am I not filling in something that is required?

GE Add Polygon 1 GE Add Polygon 2 GE Add Polygon 3 GE Add Polygon 4 GE Add Polygon 5

  • It's been a while since I used GE Pro, but once you hit the Add Polygon button, don't you just start clicking on the map where you want your vertices? Or does it bring up the Edit Polygon dialogue automatically?
    – jcarlson
    Feb 10, 2018 at 21:28
  • @JoshC, the dialogue box comes up automatically. According to YouTube videos and the online tutorials, the dialogue picks out the parcel. Also, kudos on the proper use of "vertices." ;)
    – Keiva
    Feb 10, 2018 at 22:00
  • Can you link to one of the tutorials you're trying to follow? That might help.
    – jcarlson
    Feb 10, 2018 at 22:02
  • @JoshC, I watched this YouTube video and I don't have the Earth Pro layers option that they refer to in this suggestion. This is the Google tutorial I went through.
    – Keiva
    Feb 10, 2018 at 22:17
  • Oh! Yeah, Google removed that feature from Earth a while back. So the problem isn't necessarily that you can't create polygons, but that the parcel boundary data aren't readily available to copy/trace, yes?
    – jcarlson
    Feb 10, 2018 at 22:27

2 Answers 2


When you have the new polygon pop-up (do not 'OK' the box) move the mouse to the map to capture a polygon [you get a cross-hair icon to capture].

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  • This is the correct answer. It is a very poor UX, because when they pop up the dialog box, every user's instinct is to respond to the dialog box and click OK. But Mapperz is right, you should ignore the dialog box initially and click on the map to create the polygon first. After you've created the polygon, then go to the dialog box to fill out the additional details.
    – mike
    Feb 7, 2020 at 10:26

In absence of Google Earth's parcel layer, you'll need to find your own data in order to highlight specific properties.

Many municipalities, counties, and states will often offer parcel data as a shapefile. Wisconsin's Statewide Parcel Database is an excellent example of this. I'd suggest searching the local government websites of the area, or just searching "[area] parcel gis data".

Once you (hopefully) find a shapefile, open up Google Earth and select File > Import... Select filetype ESRI Shape (*.shp), browse to and select your downloaded data, then click Open. Your parcel data will probably have more than 2500 features, so Google Earth will give you a little warning message, but go ahead and click Import All.

Google Earth still allows you to search for individual properties. When you search a given property, it will zoom you to it. With the parcel shapefile visible, you should be able to see and trace over the outline of it with the Add Polygon tool.

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