New Imagery for New Orleans Released Today

New Orleans in Google EarthIn response to the media-hyped outcry of last Friday, Google has updated the imagery for the New Orleans area with recent imagery for the area. I’m not sure yet what date, or what source, the imagery comes from, but check back here later for more details. The new imagery is from 2006 according to the new post at the official Google Blog. Google also tells me the imagery comes from the USGS. As I suggested last Friday, I think releasing more current imagery is the best way to address the “hue and cry” over the imagery which Google had released last September showing New Orleans pre-Katrina. Nice job Google!
Google has also provided access to imagery from directly after Hurricane Katrina struck the area. This imagery has been available since September 2005.

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. I think people may be letting Google off the hook a little too easily. While we can easily dismiss the conspiracy aspect of this story, I think it’s important to call out Google for making an astoundingly dumb decision to revert to the older imagery. It’s important because the decision speaks to the emphasis and priorities that Google holds with regards to GE and GM. This episode raises the debate as to how Google should handle imagery of conflict and disaster areas. For example, if Google can get access to imagery from the recently tsunami hit Solomon Islands should that be a priority even if it is of the same resolution that currently exists but shows some aspects of the damage? With the amazing success of GE/GM, do they now have a responsibility? I think yes. Some may disagree. Regardless, I think this is a positive debate for Google to have.

  2. I am extremely pleased to see the image update and hope Google will continue to serve the pre-Katrina and other data through net links and web pages. Considering the amount of aerial data available, Google’s work is very astonishing.
    Many people from one of the most historical and culturally diversified area’s of New Orleans are at high risk of having their families never see home again. Current imagery allows those who are displaced a means for monitoring. 29.966 -90.013
    “I’m gonna need two pair-a shoes, When I get through walkin these blues, When I get back to New Orleans” ~Antoine Domino, Jr (Fats)~
    Lower Ninth Ward History

  3. The issue itself has crossed a raw nerve in society, and opened the door to not only a greater focus and reality check regarding the gulf region – but opening the door of the debate that shall follow concerning the role of this type of imagery. And I like that on so many levels.

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