bird's eye view

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Related to bird's eye view: street view

a bird's eye view

1. A view looking down at an object or area from a high elevation (as if from the perspective of a bird in flight). From up here you can get a bird's eye view of the entire campus.
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

—'s-eye view

a view from the position or standpoint of the person or thing specified.
The most common versions of this phrase are bird's-eye view (see bird) and worm's-eye view (see worm).
1982 Ian Hamilton Robert Lowell There is a kind of double vision: the child's eye view judged and interpreted by the ironical narrator.
References in periodicals archive ?
From the southern ridge of the Marin headlands staring across the glowing red arches of the Golden Gate to the rolling, caterpillar avenues of San Francisco's Richmond district, or from a window seat in a 747 gliding into LAX over the miles and miles of buzzing grid and Pacific coastline that is Los Angeles, we experience the same sort of thrill that nineteenth-century Californians felt about their cities and towns depicted in the popular format of the day, bird's eye views.
In the following decades, bird's eye views provided new Californians with a visual representation of often astonishingly rapid growth and development around them.
This new lithography made it possible to reproduce affordable color images so that bird's eye views usually sold for one to five dollars.
The full service center features floor plans and renderings of the planned buildings, maps of the development, and a bird's eye views of the development sites themselves.