We often get questions from users wondering how to access the “real-time Google Earth imagery”. As you probably know, that doesn’t yet exist. In fact, if you understand how Google Earth imagery works, you’ll realize that we’re a long way from a real-time version of Google Earth.
However, we’re a small step closer to that goal with the release of a 121-megapixel image from a Russian satellite, the highest-resolution non-stitched image of the earth that has ever been captured:
It seems likely that the only way to achieve a real-time Google Earth will be to have satellites capturing incredibly high-resolution images and transferring them back down to earth. While this image is certainly remarkable, it’s roughly 1000 meters per pixel. Decent imagery in Google Earth is 1 meter per pixel (or better), so cameras will need to capture imagery at much higher resolution to make it work.
In addition to that, there’s the issue of transferring the imagery to earth, properly aligning it, dealing with clouds, etc. We’re still years away from a real-time Google Earth, but this has brought us one small step closer to it!