Last Friday Google updated the satellite data used for Google Maps so it now has the many updates recently made to the Google Earth database. This means the new high resolution data for all of Germany, many places in Europe, the new 3″/pixel data for Las Vegas, and many other places are now available to Google Maps users. A big part of the change is that, when zoomed out, the Earth’s land masses will look more green because Google is now using a dataset from a company called TrueEarth.
Here are some blog entries with details on the changes:
- Big update 23-Mar-2006 – TrueEarth update, Germany, tropical islands, and more.
- Maldive Island group – beautiful hi-res islands – see in Google Maps
- Las Vegas, Nevada – 3 inch/pixel data – see in Google Maps
- Stonehenge – now in high-resolution – see in Google Maps
- Big update 18-Apr-2006 – Most of western Europe gets updated
From a Google Maps perspective, only the data updates to the aerial and satellite photos are significant. The updates to things like place names you will need to use Google Earth to see.
While we are on this subject, OgleEarth points to a hidden feature allowing you to bring up Google Earth for the current view in Google Maps. If you choose the “Link to this page” option in Google Maps after searching for a location, you can bring up the same view in Google Earth by appending “&output=kml” to the URL.
[EDIT 18:10 EDT: Some folks have discovered that as part of these updates Google Maps and Google Earth can now give directions to most European areas - see example for Paris to Berlin.]