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 related to imagery:
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 with the the odds of the imagery actually capturing a detail that helps with the investigation, are very remote.
The 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 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.