Google Earth A to Z: Questions

Here at Google Earth Blog we get a few questions almost every day through our contact form. We encourage you to use if it you ever have a question about any aspect of Google Earth.
With that in mind, here are a few of the most common ones we get:
Do you have imagery for August 15, 2011 at 3:50pm? My house/car/business was broken into and we want to catch the thieves?
Sadly, this is incredibly unlikely. Because of the way that Google Earth imagery works, any given area is typically only updated once every few years. The odds that they captured imagery at the precise moment you need it, along the the odds of the imagery actually capturing a detail that helps with the investigation, are very remote.
My imagery in my city is 3 years old. When will it be updated again?
The short answer is that we have no idea, as Google doesn’t release that kind of information ahead of time. We recommend that you sign up to be notified when new imagery is released in your area, and be sure to keep an eye on the “historical imagery” as it’s sometimes newer than the base imagery.
How can I get my personal information removed from Street View (license plate, etc)?
Send an email to maps-legal@google.com with your name and the location of the image in question and they’ll respond with more information. Note that in most countries Google is legally allowed to capture imagery from public locations and they already blur out faces, so there are relatively few legal situations that they’ll take action on.
Information about my street/business/park/etc is missing or outdated.
Head into Google Maps, right-click on the area in questions and choose “report a problem”. Once the data has been corrected in Google Maps, it will propagate over to Google Earth soon after. Here is more information about the problem reporting process.
How can I get a live streaming view of Google Earth?
In short, you can’t. Despite what you see in movies like “Men in Black”, the government can’t either. While it seems likely that we’ll have a live-streaming Google Earth in the coming decades, the technology simply isn’t there yet. Not only would you need thousands of additional satellites capturing imagery (and the corresponding servers on the ground to process it in real-time), but there are also images with daylight, weather, angles, etc. Beyond that, I’m sure we’ll see issues with privacy begin to arise as well.
We again refer you to the “about Google Earth imagery” post to see how complex it is to add imagery to Google Earth. Having to cover all 57.5 million square miles of earth in real-time will be quite a challenge, but one that I know engineers are looking forward to tackling.
Be sure to check out the full basics section for more answers, don’t hesitate to ask if you have other questions.

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. Very good information, thanks for posting it. One addition: If you see problems in Street View, such as an unblurred face or license plate, the best thing to do is use the report a problem link.

  2. I’m surprised you don’t start the article with a big note that you are not Google and that people who ask for data from you clearly aren’t paying attention.

  3. How do I get Google street view on my ipad?

  4. I work for an optical communications company and what I would like to know is if there is a way create a list of geographic addresses that would then allow Google Earth to connect those locations in an effort to build maps of underground and aerial fiber. If this is possible can the maps that then be further modified as additional information is gathered? In other words is it also possible to add an additional physical address or modify existing routes manually?

  5. It’s great to hear it straight from the source about the live steaming Google Earth issue. I could not count the times I have heard “[insert name} has this really cool cell phone that will show you standing in the yard holding the phone. Yeah man , saw it myself- LIVE SATELLITE!” It’s amazing how that many people will repeat what they hear and then try to vouch for it saying they witnessed it.

  6. What is the point of using Google Earth to view some areas when the satellite views haven’t been updated for almost 6 year?. IE Christiansted USVI.

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