Huge New Layers Update in Google Earth – September 13

[UPDATED: 1230 ET – See also: New GE 4 Beta, New Satellite Photos]
New Layers Update in Google EarthAs often happens when a new version of GE is being released, there are new updates appearing in the data first (A new beta version of GE 4 is expected out soon based on an announcement yesterday by Michael Jones at a talk in the UK). Last week we got a pretty large update to aerial and satellite photos, and now I’ve noticed the layers in Google Earth are being updated as well. The more I look, the more amazing this update appears. (By the way, these layers are viewable in all versions of Google Earth right now). I suggest you go to the Layers pane and look for some of these layers yourself. Here’s a summary of new content:

  • New “Featured Content“: US National Parks (very nice layer with placemarks which have pictures of the parks), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has a world-wide layer of important places to our environment (see press release ). Updated to Discovery Channel World Tour (from just the National Parks one). Here’s a Google Press Release on this part of the new content.
  • Whoa! Tokyo has 3D buildings! Turn on the 3D buildings layer. I wonder what other cities have 3D now? Update: Not just Tokyo, cities all over Japan have 3D Buildings!
  • Roads” – the Roads layer now lists a bunch of countries it covers including: Japan, Canada, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, UK, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Sweden, and “Other”. Still no sign of Australia and New Zealand which already have the road data in Google Maps.
  • Looks like more cities have things like “Dining“, “Lodging“, etc.
  • Check out the content for other countries for “Travel and Tourism” layer which includes. In Japan they have placemarks with local language content.
  • Turn on the “Parks and Recreation” Layer. I don’t remember all this stuff for Europe. Isn’t it new?
  • Transportation” layer has a number of updates – mostly sub layers have been moved into this from other places such as “Ferries“, and “Gas Stations“. There’s also a new “Sea Ports” layer. Also, GEB reader Daan points out below that the Railroads layers are improved for London, Paris and Berlin and even have subway stations.
  • US Government” Layer – I don’t remember there being “US Senator” and “US Congressional Districts” sub-layers here. And I believe the City Boundaries sub-layer is new as well.

These layers of information are often overlooked when people are talking about other mapping tools. These layers represent a vast amount of information. Click on the placemarks and you will often find address information, links to web sites, and even pictures. And, occassionally you will even find useful advertisements.
I will update this list as I learn more. But, go exploring yourself and leave comments here if you find something interesting! Like this story? Digg it.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was released. He worked in 3D graphics for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank left in 2009 to circumnavigate the earth by sailboat as part of the Tahina Expedition.



Comments

  1. The route layers for the whole of western Europe has ‘proper’ vector based railroad layers now. Londen, Paris and Berlin even have all underground stations listed.
    For almost all European countries the lodging layer became active.
    Germany and Italy got the most impressive layer updates: all layers are all active, even the shopping malls and parks layers are working. (not the 3d buldings though)
    The airport layer is still bogus though. It even lists a airport that has been closed 10 years ago :).
    Good to see that Europe isn’t forgoten :).

  2. I’ve noticed a railway line in London that hasn’t existed for over 60 years! How did they manage that?!

  3. Very niiiiiiiiiice

  4. Can anyone help me but I am missing the railroad layers for South America. I have my transportation box checked. I did have this feature but it disappeared this past week.
    Richard Allison

  5. please can you ensure Kashmir in Asia is reflected in its true glory and not just stripes of detail data.I with my 200,000 expats luv google earth but hey when we use it its useless.
    Lets get the world on line and charge if we have to but we must offer a fair system.
    Thank you

  6. Kristi Hines says:

    Can someone help me display the borders between the individual states of the united states? My daughter would like to use GE for her US Geog. class but needs the states to be defined and labeled.

  7. I use GE for planning hunting trips on game lands and would like to know when the aerial photos will be updated and how often you are going to update them?

  8. Thanks for the information! Can someone help me display the borders between the individual states of the united states? My daughter would like to use GE for her US Geog. class but needs the states to be defined and labeled.

  9. I’ve noticed a railway line in London that hasn’t existed for over 60 years! How did they manage that?!Good Luck

  10. Rather actually! Last week we got a pretty large update to aerial and satellite photos, and now I’ve noticed the layers in Google Earth are being updated as well. The more I look, the more amazing this update appears. (By the way, these layers are viewable in all versions of Google Earth right now).

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