When will my area get new imagery in Google Earth?

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 the fresh imagery released yesterday, a lot of you are wondering when your city will be updated.  We’ll answer that and some other questions below:

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.

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. bernd reuter says:

    When the hell we will see any update of the strategic important harbor of Severodvinsk?

  2. The nearest thing to live streaming that I know are the very useful radar based precipitation maps using Google maps which show an ipdating ‘animated loop’ based on inteervals as frequent as every 15 minutes, and currently giving a more precise picture than the radar based weather layer in GE. In the UK we have for example http://www.raintoday.co.uk/ normally ‘yes’ ;-)

    Also, frequent imagery updates are not always welcome if quality and resolution slip, as has often happened recently. Keeping good imagery giving representative pictures of, say, working ports, is worth more than low grade imagery of the odd new building or road imho.

  3. archangelmichael2 says:

    “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.”

    *Insert buzzer sound here* WRONG!!!

    You sir have been hoodwinked! There are plenty of military documents you can find which people have put together showing a much larger picture of what’s going on in our military black ops and it’s not looking good.

    For starters all our military equipment actually comes from private companies which are the ones that benefit from this *War on Terror* because in reality peace is too boring and they would soon lose profits which cannot be allowed to happen.

    You”ll be amazed at all the dark and dirty secrets our government is either covering up or is too afraid to speak out.

  4. Deb Scott says:

    may 24: saw G-earth car in town today, Manhattan, Kansas. Please please come to our “new” neighborhood, now 3 years old. Miller Ranch area, Laussac and Lobdell. Thanks!

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