a bird's eye view

a bird's eye view

1. A view looking down at an object or area from a high elevation. As much as I'd love to go to the observation deck of the Empire State Building and see New York City from a bird's eye view, I'm afraid that my acrophobia will prevent me from enjoying the experience.
2. A consideration of a problem or situation from a comprehensive perspective. In order to determine why the company was headed towards a fiscal disaster, the CFO had to take a step back and get a bird's eye view of the situation so he could locate the cause of the problem.
See also: eye, view

bird's eye view

An overview, as in This balcony gives us a bird's eye view of the town, or This course gives you a bird's eye view of history-from Eolithic man to the Gulf War in one semester . This expression can be used literally, for a panoramic view such as a bird might see, as well as figuratively. [c. 1600]
See also: eye, view

a bird's-eye view

1. If you have a bird's-eye view of a place, you are looking down on it from a high position and can see all of it. His pilot's licence enabled us to have a bird's-eye view of the beautiful countryside.
2. If you have a bird's-eye view of a situation, you know what is happening in all the parts of it. I was a parliamentary journalist, so I had a bird's eye view of the way politicians encourage people to believe in dreams. Note: People often change bird to a word that is relevant to what they are talking about. He seems to have a soldier's eye view. He has a child's eye view of the war based on his own experiences. Compare with a worm's eye view.
See also: view
References in periodicals archive ?
A BIRD'S EYE VIEW I looked down at Coventry from a restaurant up high, Got a bird's eye view almost from the sky, Looked over to Spencer Park and I saw there, Varied trees now clothed in summer leaves so fair.
School ICT co-ordinator Carl Aspey said: "Once they have hatched it will truly be a bird's eye view of the little chicks growing before their eyes, as the mummy and daddy birds feed them constantly through the day.
To create a bird's eye view an artist would usually begin by choosing a position or angle from which the city would be depicted, and, if possible, he would view the city from that spot.
With Seamark Navigator, users quickly gain a bird's eye view of all the data that is relevant to them before intuitively navigating down to a bug's eye view of the specific information they need, giving them an organized and faceted, 360 degree view of the person, place or thing they are researching.
Scientists know that a bird's eye view is much more colourful than that of a human.
An easy guide to What, Why, When, How, Where, and Who of an industry, the global outlook series provides a bird's eye view of the baked goods industry, the product market segments, and evolving trends shaping the industry's future.