Google Maps Improvements Introduced July 11th

Google Maps new featuresToday Google released several new features for Google Maps. Here’s a quick summary of the new features:

  1. A new cleaner image of the Earth’s surface for high level zooms. You don’t see the patchwork of different colored satellite and aerial images when viewed as if from space. Once you zoom in to look from airplane height or closer, you will then see the higher resolution satellite/aerial photos.
  2. Improved zoom features you can double click the left mouse button to zoom in, or double click the right mouse button to zoom out.
  3. According to reports I read, under Windows with Firefox or IE, you can use the mousewheel to zoom in and out. However, I just tried it with Firefox on my MacBook (OSX 10.4.7) and it worked for me.

These are some nice features which have been wanted for a long time by many users of Google Maps. It will be interesting to see if Google releases the new better looking Earth views for higher height zooms in Google Earth. Personally, I am hoping they will use the new NASA Blue Marble Next Generation photos (a different set of photos for each month of the year).

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. Mousewheel also works in Opera 9 for Windows.

  2. 2nd that vote for a seamless Google Earth view at higher altitudes. That said, the experienced user needs a visual queue for where it is worth zooming in. Something sooner than the 1″=1km threshold they have set in GMaps. Also the number one question from viewers is “what date was that imagery taken?” Can’t have a Layer that shows the different high resolution imagery extents with clickable information on the acquistion and publishing date, source, and resolution (i.e. metadata)?

  3. if NASA’s blue marble gets integrated you’ll never stop exploring something new

  4. I agree with Tim.

  5. I’d also like to see the date on satellite imagery. Most of the images on there now are at least 3 years old.

  6. Per Rainbolt says:

    are there real time images of google street maps for July 12, 2007?

Leave a Reply