Google Releases Very High Resolution Imagery for Las Vegas

Today Google released some very high resolution (3 inches/pixel) imagery for a part of Las Vegas. You can see an example here of the Luxor Hotel (a pyramid with mirrored windows). If you visit the Luxor Hotel in Google Earth, and lower yourself (or zoom) to see in detail, you can easily read advertisements on the side of the building, see cars reflected in the windows, and if you look around the area you can not only make out car types, but can even see people (and their shadows).
An airport is also captured in the high resolution section, and you can easily make out plane types and see the support equipment around the airport. You can see the Paris Hotel’s Eiffel Tower replica in great detail as well. An awesome area to explore. Here’s the announcement from Google. According to the post, the Las Vegas imagery was taken very recently (March, 2006). In addition, they put back some islands around Thailand which were accidentally removed in the 23-March update. Google didn’t give any reason for why they released this new high res imagery for Las Vegas. Maybe they are taking a gamble?
Read about the bigger data update made 23-March-2006.
Check out the new real-time Global Cloud Map overlayed onto Google Earth making it look like the real Earth from space.
Also, you may find the story about the world’s largest Apple iPod ad interesting.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Great Res. I see the Stratosphere Tower is now missing. You can still see it in Google Maps though.

  2. Nice, hairspray. You can almost see the number plates on the cars 🙂

  3. Tim Bragg says:

    I think I might have found out why this update has come online.
    Open your temporary places and double-click.

  4. B. Miller says:

    I can see the high resolution around Las Vegas. I cannot see the top of the Luxor hotel as in the above picture. I restarted my computer and restarted gearth, but still cannot see anything. Anyone else having this problem?

    Not too recent, as I was there in February and the Wynn was open. In the above linked shot, it’s not even built yet.

  6. Robert, your tinyurl link is showing imagery in Google Maps. The new high resolution imagery mentioned in the article is ONLY in Google Earth.

  7. I guess what happens in Vegas no longer stays in Vegas 🙂

  8. Any thoughts on why the stratosphere was removed? I was hoping to make out the frightened faces on the roller coaster.

  9. Maybe next time they can send the sat. over while there are actually people hanging out by the pool! 😉

  10. there is a roller coaster circling the “new york” place ….. you just can’t see faces… resolution isn’t that good

  11. are these sat pics or photos from plane?

  12. The reason is because of the AP story from 2 days ago talking about how great the imagery used by windows live local is.
    I’m sure it is, anyway.

  13. Very cool stuff.

  14. Hey, The reason may be because they want some “before” shots before the gov’t sets off the mushroom cloud over LV. if you don’t know what i’m talking about, it’s a just a test explosion, that i read on digg, i forget the link though, sorry.

  15. JohnnyNVA says:

    So, the stratosphere is missing…BUT you can see its shadow on the ground north of where it should be. That is very bizzare!

  16. “Hey, The reason may be because they want some “before” shots before the gov’t sets off the mushroom cloud over LV. if you don’t know what i’m talking about, it’s a just a test explosion, that i read on digg, i forget the link though, sorry.”
    I read that article too… wonder if Google thinks the government is going to fudge their text explosion up and take out parts of vegas??? Would be useful for insurance purposes if that did happen and then google could get back at the government for invading their servers!!

  17. nice!!!

  18. The missing Stratosphere was probably taken by the same aliens who stole the planes leaving the Dallas Airport and left their shadows behind on Grapevine Lake.

  19. Very neat, but the hotels at the corner of Paradise Rd. and Riviera Blvd. look really tweaked. 🙂

  20. Strange that the Paris Balloon is missing as well, some wierd dinosaur looking thing in its place!

  21. This photo is taken from a plane. There are no space-borne imaging systems that can resolve to this level.

  22. I have gained helpful information from this website. I am interested in high resolution imagery that our company can use to do roof estimating from the internet. The imagery that I have seen so far will not work because they don’t show close enought imagery. Any suggestions or information would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks to all
    Bret Lyon
    President – Lyon Roofing & Supply
    485 Industrial Park Road
    Piney Flats, TN 37686
    fax 423-538-5169
    cell 423-0340-1937
    cell 423-383-3197

  23. Bret,
    We’ve also had the same problems using Google Earth for our roofing business. The pictures are too grainy and lack enough depth to get any real benefit (other than knowing whether or not you have a hip or gable roof).
    We’ve been using a technology that will take military grade photos from satellite and then analyze the picture for total squares, hip and ridge length as well as perimeter measurements.
    Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like more information. Click my name to visit our website where my contact info is listed.

  24. Bret,
    This technology keeps getting better and better. There are several companies that are using this to take pictures of roofs and providing very accurate measurements to contractors for estimating purposes. Just do a google search for satellite imaging roof estimate and you’ll find additional info.
    That image of the Luxor is pretty amazing. I wonder what things will be like 5-10 years from now as this technology gets even more advanced.

  25. This is a terrific idea, and we will begin to implement it in our business! Is this available in the Phoenix metro area? How about the other major cities? it used to be that the resolution was terrible, but high definition satellite images is awesome!

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