Google Releases High Resolution Terrain – Western US and Canaries

This is major news. Google has today just posted new high resolution (10 meter) terrain for the western United States. This is very significant as it will make the area look even more realistic when viewed by Google Earth’s 3D capabilities. For example, the satellite and aerial photography better matches the terrain, so the imagery and 3D both look much better! Trust me, I’ve started visiting mountains I’ve been to before and they look great! Make sure you turn the “Options->Terrain Quality” to higher quality to see the terrain. You may want to turn it back to lower quality if it slows down your performance.
A few brief details on the new terrain and all the new imagery were posted by Google here.
Have started checking out the new terrain. Check out the Grand Canyon – it was already beautiful, but is even better with the higher quality terrain.

New high resolution terrain in Google Earth - Grand Canyon

Also, check out the Grand Tetons in Wyoming – (just enter “JAC” for Jackson Hole airport, and look to the northwest). They look awesome with the terrain at high resolution.

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. The higher accuracy for the terrain is nice, but it hasn’t helped the alignment problem. Lots of creeks in the Grand Canyon are still on the canyon walls. All the places I checked, in Arizona, Idaho, California, didn’t show any alignment improvement.

  2. FatBaron says:

    That’s right. If you check – for example – the Glen Canyon Dam near Page, Arizona you can see an entire parking lot spread over a steep hill.

  3. That has to do with the imagery, not the terrain. DG is notorious for that.

  4. Howard Glen says:

    Is there a setting to limit the resolution in GE? From high altitudes, high-resolution areas look like gray blurs. For example, how can I see an entire mountain range in such an area?

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