Find the freshest imagery with Google’s “imagery updates” KML

For years now, Google has produced a special network link file that shows the latest imagery that has been added to Google Earth. Each time they push out fresh imagery, the network link is updated (usually 2-3 days later) to show you exactly where the new imagery can be found.
To see it for yourself, just grab their KML file and look for the areas outlined in red as shown here:

imagery.jpg

You can also use this file to see the outlines of every previous imagery update going back to 2009 by expanding the “Previous Updates” folder in the file.
It’s important to remember that while the imagery is new to Google Earth it’s not necessarily brand new imagery. You can always find the date the imagery was captured by zooming in and looking for it in the lower left corner of the viewing window, as seen here:
imagery-date.jpg

Another thing to keep in mind is that the newest imagery is sometimes hidden in the “historical imagery” feature. This occurs when Google captures updated imagery for an area, but decides that the existing imagery is better (sharper, better coloring, etc). They still want to post the fresh imagery for users to find, but leave the better looking imagery on the default layer.
The entire process in which imagery is added to Google Earth is quite fascinating. I encourage you to read this post that Frank wrote a few years ago explaining how it all works.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.



Comments

  1. berooze says:

    please update the latest imagery of davao city philippines.. thanks

  2. Dave Timpe says:

    I do wish Google looked at new imagery more carefully and used that final option (putting the new image in history rather than the default layer) more often. Some of the dingy imagery around Green Bay, for instance may possibly be sharper than the old, but has cloudy spots on the eastern edge of town, and was taken just after the snow melted, so the whole world looks brown.

  3. @ mickmel – GEB readers will appreciate this helpful post (isn’t the GE Gallery another route to the file?). However, unfortunately Google have often not left older but better looking imagery as the default in my part of the world (I have posted examples on GEB). It looked a random process, as if no one checked, but the latest update seems better in this respect.

  4. Please update the latest images of Ajmer city, Rajasthan, INDIA. It has changed a lot, the pics shown in the google earth are 2 years old or even more. Please update it as soon as possible. Thank you!

  5. please update the latest imagery of Palopo, Indonesia. thanks

  6. koushik dutta says:

    Please give the updated imagery for the region Belda, Wese Bengal, India. This area is very much populated.

  7. madhurendra says:

    please update the latest image of sitamarhi, Bihar, INDIA because this district has changed a lot.

  8. Peter K. Wijaya says:

    please update path given jalan tambak sawah, Waru, Jawa Timur, Indonesia because this area is quite crowded and the industrial area

  9. James Glines says:

    Please update the imagery of Leutershausen, Germany 91578. This is near Ansbach, Germany

  10. Please update the imagery of my house. I have painted the west wall and have added a nice new flower bed in my garden. Thanks

  11. please update Mechkuevci Macedonia Latitude: 41° 55′ 0.69″ N
    Longitude: 22° 3′ 47.31″ E

  12. Please update the imagery for Oodweyne, Togdheer,
    Somalia and Burco, Togdheer, Somalia.

  13. This is a great feature! The map is clearer now and it really shows an actual image.

  14. subodh kumar mitra says:

    please update the imagery date casa rio ,dombivili,mumbai,india

  15. Please update images for Tu Son, Vietnam. Thanks. The images are too old from 2005.

  16. pls up date please update malappattam
    Latitude: 12° 01’41.92″ N
    Longitude: 75°29’16.77″ E

  17. Please give imagery updates for Eastern produce Estates Thyolo & Mulanje, Malawi

  18. Georges Teissier says:

    Would you please update imagery of Tikehau, Tuamotu Islands, French Polynesia as the one shown on Google Earth is from may, 2005 (more than 7 years old) Thanks a million…

  19. subodh kumar mitra says:

    please update the imagery of dombivili,casa rio,nilje,katai gaon ,mumbai,india.the present imagery date is 5th nov 2012

  20. subodh kumar mitra says:

    please update the imagery of dombivili,casa rio,nilje,katai gaon ,mumbai,india.the present imagery date is 11th may 2012

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