Huge Update to Google Earth and Maps Aerial/Satellite Photos – September 8 and 9

[UPDATE: SUN 1910 ET – new areas in blue]
[Updated: 13-Sep 1500 ET – Also, see details on the new Updated Google Earth Layers]
The update which came out yesterday for Google Maps (unannounced by Google) was pushed out to Google Earth last night (thanks to several readers who pointed this out). This update increased high resolution coverage in a number of areas (several states in the US are now all, or nearly, completely covered). Also, new metropolitan areas are covered in a number of states or countries. Thanks to the many Google Earth Blog readers posted comments to yesterday’s story, we now have a long list of things which have changed. Here is a summary (go to yesterday’s story for links to examples in Google Maps):

  • US States
    • California – entire state is high res, several areas updated with new higher resolution. Rural areas probably came from National Agricultrual Imagery Program (NAIP).
    • Texas – several new rural areas (like western I-10 highway), parts of east Texas, Houston, TX updated
    • North Carolina – Wilmington, Charlotte
    • Connecticut – the entire state in high res now
    • Florida – areas north of Orlando and along coast near Daytona up to St. Augustine
    • New York – Hudson Valley area, western areas – multiple reports
    • New Hamshire – Big areas in southeast
    • Maine – Large new areas along the coastline, and west central
    • Georgia – looks like the entire state has some form of high res now
    • Montana – the entire state in high res now
    • New Mexico – updates around Las Cruces
    • Illinois – unconfirmed report for Bloomington and Normal
    • Unconfirmed reports for Memphis, TN; Minneapolis, MN; and Aspen, CO – thanks to comments at Digg
    • Washington State – County of Clark in SW WA updated – thanks to GEB reader Jesse
    • Oregon – Part of update above includes Portland, OR also
  • The Netherlands – the rest of the country in high res
  • Belgium – big areas have been added for Antwerp, and new data for Brussels
  • Japan – Takamatsu added, Also Also Nara, Chofu, Machida
  • Norway – Area in and around Bergen added
  • New Zeland – Auckland and Wellington with new data, other areas being reported
  • Germany – Munich, Dusseldorf, Karlsruhe, Gelsenkirchen, Erlangen/Fuerth, Ludwigshafen, Schwerte…
  • Puerto Rico – area around San Juan
  • Austria – area in southern mountains
  • Arkansas – unconfirmed NW corner

Note: I’ve verified most (but, not all the cities) of thelocations listed. There are probably other areas not discovered yet. Keep sending in comments and I will update the list. And, go look at the new things you can now discover!

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.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.


  1. Actually, the entire state of California seems to now be in high resolution. Some of the imagery looks like it’s from the 2005 National Agricultural Imagery Program.

  2. A part of the area around Liege in Belgium was also updated.

  3. The north-western parts of Arkansas seems to have new imagery too..

  4. Some Parts of Northern Germany especially Schleswig Holstein seem to be updated also Wellington in New Zealand

  5. Areas of Western New York around Buffalo have been updated as well

  6. You can also add:
    * Bremen, Germany
    * North-Western Florida
    * North-Eastern parts of Vermont.

  7. Most of St. Louis county appears to have updated (approx. 4 years newer) imagery.

  8. Bishkek, the Capital City of Kyrgystan ts now in hires too

  9. Slovakia- Areas of Bratislava seems updated, added new Appollo Bridge (but pix are almost 1 year old ’cause bridge weren’t putted into operation on them yet)

  10. There is still heavy cloud cover over Retreat Cover on Galiano Island, off the coast of British Columbia.

  11. Yes, Bloomgington-Normal has been updated with high-res images, but they’re at least two years old.

  12. Just checked Dresden, Germany and it has been updated. I looked at it a few months ago and the whole city was very low resolution, now it is very good resolution.

  13. Thank God, I had a feeling that Arkansas was not a member of the united states and infact a whole country unto itself.

  14. For Wellington, New Zealand, it is different imagery, but it is not any higher resolution, and it is definitely older, the 2 building sites complete with cranes either side of my place that were there in the old imagery have reverted back to carparks again. The georeferencing also appears to be different, for example the pin for my house is now on the neighbours place. The colours also look more washed out. A step backwards I’m afraid.
    And it’s only Wellington City itself that has changed, the missing bits from the Hutt and Porirua are still MIA. The copyright notice is now Wellington City Council, so I guess that explains things a bit.

  15. Calgary, Alberta has been updated as well

  16. there is new imagery of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Edmonton, Alberta I just noticed

  17. In the check for updates menu, I’ve got a new version of GE4 for Windows (version 4.0.1693). Is this happening for anyone else? I’m in the USA.
    I’m downloading it now, can’t tell what’s fixed.

  18. Tybois Uphold says

    Alleghany and Garrett counties in Western Maryland are now in High-Res, along with most of Charlottesville, VA.
    Rock on,
    Tybois Uphold

  19. Finally!!!!! My country and house in detail!
    But Holland is still flat 😉

  20. The City of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada is still half winter, half summer. It’s something that just had to happen somewhere, but right through a major Canadian city? 🙂 I’m looking forward to the update!

  21. What has the UK done to offend Google?? So they’ve now mapped the whole of Germany and the Netherlands in high res and yet so much of the UK is still in rubbish quality. Come on Google, there are more places in the UK than just London and the South East corner!!

  22. Pittsburgh, PA was also updated.

  23. One piece of California that they didn’t update: the Googleplex. The aerial pictures Google took on the Geo Developer Day back in june not shown so far. You are not visible at GE yet, Frank.

  24. Wiesbaden/Germany is also in High-Res now

  25. As noted above, the imagery of Wilmington NC have a very high resolution now (was already high before), but it seems the images are older. I’m currently preparing a KMZ with some locations in this area, so I noticed that a new building in downtown Wilmington that was visible before is gone now.

  26. Area between Longviex TX and Shreveport LA in higher res, still not as good as large cities.

  27. How does these update occur in GE4?

  28. John, updates occur to the database which is shared by all versions of Google Earth. You don’t have to upgrade your version of GE to see new aerial or satellite photos.

  29. Ted Merriman says

    the entire city if Philadelphia is in high resolution now instead of just center city and south philly.

  30. The Island of Madeira (Portugal) is now covered. Unfortunetly there are some clouds over Funchal (Capital City of Madeira).

  31. The funny thing is that there’s a company in the netherlands wich sells these images of NL for lots of money. Too bad for them, you can get them for free now. Pitty that there are some cloud ‘stains’ here and there. But 100x better than before

  32. It’s really good that norway’s second biggest city bergen had been photed all they need to do now is take a photo of the eastern parts of oslo

  33. Sao Paulo/Brazil hires was extended from downtown (40miles) do surrounding cities (70miles)

  34. Regulars have probably heard most of this before- sorry, my first time here. I just have to say how much I love Google Earth and Maps. I applaud and thank whoever is working so hard to make this happen- from the intitial premise to continual refinement. High resolution and 3D areas seem to be upgraded at increasing rate. Keep up the great work. GE is high up the list of incredible, synergetic Internet applications. In what may seem to be escalation of cultural difference, such application can only (ultimately) help world dialogue and understanding of our common imprint. Someday, I imagine 24-7 geostationed cameras will optionally provide high res real time imagery in addition to cloudless stills. This would enable all sorts of new functionality such as real time monitoring of natural processes and large scale human endeavors.

  35. Is it me or is there new imagery for london, UK?? looking this morning and it looks different

  36. North Taipei has reverted to older less clear data and my hundreds of pins are off coordinates. Wonderful.

  37. Berlin, Germany has new detailed photos dated from Spring/Summer 2006

  38. Updated part of Liguria (Northern Italy), namely the zone of Albenga and Alassio.
    Good job!

  39. danielsalex says

    I reckon that either Denmark or Belgium will be the next countries to get high resolution photos all over the country.

  40. The philippines also has a few new areas in High Res, including the city of Legaspi in the Bikol region.

  41. Google earth is fantastic although Id like improved resolution of the Hutt Valley (Wellington, NZ) and a new shot of Petone (Wellingto, NZ) to remove the annoying cloud cover.
    Is Google Earth going to do a night time version? Cities lit up at night accross a continent would look great.
    A live version is to much to ask…

  42. Is there any why to know when the last shots of a particular region where taken? The images of my area are pretty old, but I would love it if there was a list or a tool that would tell you the image for long:xxx and lat:yyy is 12 months old, etc.

  43. Peter, unfortunately no. This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions and Google has not been implementing a way to look at the meta data showing the date of photos.

  44. When the hell is google going to update the satelite photos to 2007!?
    the images on google earth are still 2005ish

  45. Im am getting very tired of seeing the places from about 6 years ago, when in the world are you guys going to update man, people are going to start uninstalling GE from there computer, so can ya please, please, please, please update.

  46. chuck Sanders says

    I agree. I just down loaded GE on my new dell with VISTA. These arial shots of Porter Texas are 5 years old< my version is 4.0.2737 ….. Satilites are zooooming by every minute. Whats up with the up date.

  47. Capital of Bosnia , Sarajevo has new 3D buildings and high resolution . jeeeeeeee . i sugest you to turn on the terrain and look around ,we are all soranded by mountains and its cool to be in the center of the city and look around. see you

  48. As I can see the US and a majority of Europe has been covered. What distresses me a little that the maps over the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland) have not been updated on average for 6 YEARS !! I have been searching for updates but they are not easily obtained or non existent. Should Google or their affiliates not concentrate on getting ALL their maps at least updated to a common level ?

  49. This imagery change is valid for UK also. On Google Earth and Google Maps the imagery is shown of about 2000.
    For a while it appeared good to see the forest where now my house is there, but actually this is very frustrating when I needed to use it for the required purpose.
    Google should inform the date when it is going to update with the right imagery,

  50. I totally agree with the frustration about out of date images…the ones for my home town are from at least 2004 or possibly a little earlier. There are still vast areas of Australia that are low-rez, or very old images. Oddly enough some of the more remote outback areas and cities were updated a year or so back, but the coastal cities are still pretty much old images or low rez.
    Very annoying…

  51. Waaaaaaah! Ancient images from 2004! That was from way before I was born! And I thought Google Earth was cool. Dude! I hate being annoyed!

  52. Warren Faris says

    Yeah, well…I think they used 20 year old polaroids for San Antonio…The satelite imagery is basically worthless for most of the northside.

  53. When will the northern part of Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) be available in high-res.? It´s a bit odd to still have the greenish low res. satellite stuff while Denmark and the southern part of S-H are in high res..
    Also: when will Helgoland (Heligoland) finally show up on GE?!? It´s actually a super low res. green blur.

  54. subhasish mishra says

    saline Michigan (near us 23 and us 12) has now a older image(than google earth last showed)of a new sub-division.
    The previous image was more recent and was expecting newer one from there. In stead it moved backwards with recent google earth update.

  55. I would like to see more of Guatemala. A lot of the south is in high res, but I would like to see north of the city as well as the entire middle part of the country.

  56. I want to see the city of Campbell River, British Columbia in some sort of detail instead of a splodgy blur. For some reason the unpopulated forested area to the west of the city is in excellent high res but the city is totally unviewable.

  57. The imagery of Scotland looks like its was drawn by primary school children using crayons. Maybe there is a satellite no fly zone above Scotland as the Hi Res stops at the border. Get a grip Google.

  58. Well, they’d better update in 2008 too! And they’d better check places like Eastern Europe, Latin America and several popular exotic islands, such as those in the Caribbeans and the ones near Europe…
    Much of those still don’t appear from close-in range… I guess Google has forgotten about them!

  59. Nitin Kakade says

    Is there any updated photos in Satara region of Maharashtra, INDIA ?

  60. Jett Allen Smith II says

    After reading several other comments, I believe my earlier comment was not specific enough. I would like to see an up-to-date image of Torre Pacheco Spain. That is the southeast corner near La Manga. Present image is 2005 or 2006, latest. Thanx.

  61. Alan Smith says

    The resolution over the city of Page,AZ is not clear. The Nothern part of town and the airport is clear, but the rest of the city and some of the surrounding area are blurred and have been for the couple of years that I have been watching.
    Alan Smith
    PS You have a great site.

  62. Indeed, it’s been a huge update.
    And since then, another one happened. Anyone noticed?
    I see deserts, forest in North Africa and Europe showing up pretty well, not to mention that small towns in Europe got more attention now.
    But: many of the images of capitals are still old. Google adds images to where there aren’t, but I’ve never seen updates of older ones…

  63. Phillip Armstrong,USA says

    The image of the Ubud area of Bali,Indonesia is low res and obscured by clouds.This is an a very popular tourist destination and the cultural capital of this unique culture and I would like to ask you to update it. Thank you

  64. Richard Mansfield says

    Still no update to images for area north of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. The images are more ten years out of date – 1999! Virtually useless!!! Why are they so out of date?

  65. Glad to see they have finally sorted most of these out. Always frustrating when it looks like my 5 year old son has drawn the places!

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.