Google Earth 5.0 offers the perfect way to explore the world from the comfort of your arm chair, and even better, it's free.

You can check out terrain and 3D buildings, plan your ideal holiday, explore the ocean floor and even see Mars up close. It's a rich application that can take plenty of time to fully explore - both in terms of places and functionality. To make it easier for you, we've outlined five ways to get a small taste for what Google Earth 5.0 can do.

Dive Under the Ocean

California's Davidson Seamount is home to large coral forests, deep-sea fishes, basket stars and rare and unidentified sea life. And with Google Earth 5.0, you can explore this 26-mile long undersea treasure and other areas of the ocean floor.

If you delve into this feature, you will find that some areas under the ocean render better visually than others. Checking out Davidson Seamount will give you a feel for where the underwater topography renders well.

To check out the Davidson Seamount, you must first download Google Earth 5.0 and launch the app.

For all sections in this article, be sure 'Street View', '3D Buildings', 'Ocean', 'Places of Interest', and 'Terrain' are checked in the Layers section. (After you try explore a few places, you may want to exaggerate elevation. To do so, go to Tools and then Options. You can set 'Terrain Quality' to 'Higher' and 'Elevation Exaggeration' to 3 from its default at 1.)

Under View, go to Water Surface and make sure it's clicked. This allows you to see waves on the surface of the water. In the 'Fly to' window (upper left-hand corner) type 'Davidson Seamount' and press return. Underneath the box will come up a 'Davidson Seamount' option with a pushpin to its left. Click on that.

You'll fly to above the ocean and come to a stop. To the right of the screen you'll see a zoom slider. Click the + at the top of the slider to zoom in or grab the middle control and pull it up towards the + end. Go to an altitude of -4377 ft. (altitude is displayed at the bottom of your screen).

From there, use your mouse to drag the view in different directions and explore the topography. You can use the 'look joystick" (at the top of the controls to look around from one vantage point) or the 'move joystick' to move down, up, right or left.

Broadband speed tester

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