Not every Chrome or Firefox extension you use has to be one-hundred-per cent dedicated to productivity or utility. Sometimes, it’s just nice to look at something pretty. And in the case of Earth View from Google Earth, I don’t really care if it eats up my browser’s memory or otherwise impacts its performance in any way. It makes me happy, and it will make you happy too — exactly why this is our Extension of the Week.
You can probably guess what the extension does just by its name, but it’s a lot simpler than what you’re thinking. This isn’t some fancy tie-in to Google Earth that lets you zoom around the planet in your browser or fly through, say, the Grand Canyon whenever you make a relevant Google search. Instead, the extension pulls up a new image of a curated location from Google Earth to fill the background of any new browser tabs you open. That’s it.
If you want to learn a little more about the location you’re looking at, you can tap on the little globe icon in the lower-right corner of your window to be taken directly to the image’s location in Google Earth. If you’re feeling more like Indiana Jones than getting work done on a particular day, you can also click on the hard-to-see arrow at the bottom of any new tab to pull up new Google Earth images to look at (and new places to visit).
There are way, way too many extensions that you can use to add background images and themes to your browser. Earth View from Google Earth is both gorgeous and educational, and it’s a great way to give you just a little hint of joy throughout the day. Joy and wanderlust.