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

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