June Layers Additions/Updates for Google Earth

Earlier this week Google added new layers and updated layers to Google Earth. I mentioned various parts of the updates in several posts during the last few days. But, I thought it would be more convenient to summarize the updates in one post. Not only that, but there was at least one update I missed entirely:

  • New Global Awareness Layers – Google added three new layers which have been highlighted in the Global Awareness layer. The layers were timed for release with the new Google Earth Outreach program – a fantastic program to help non-profits leverage Google Earth to support their causes (see my notes on the announcement). The new layers are: Global Heritage Fund, Earthwatch Expeditions, and Fair Trade Certified. Read more about these new layers.

  • New Road Layers – The following countries now have new detailed roads in the “Roads” layer: Sweden, Slovakia, Croatia, and Slovenia. At least Sweden also has driving directions and local business search. Sweden was just added to Google Maps earlier this month.

  • Geographic Web – The Geographic Web layer was substantially changed. First, they took away the ability to turn on/off each of the three sub-layers individually (Panoramio, Wikipedia, and Best of GEC – see original announcement). In addition, from higher altitudes you now just see very small round icons for each layer (Panoramio is blue, Wikipedia are kind of purple, and the GEC layer is tan). When you zoom in closer, the icons are replaced by easier to distinguish icons. Some people like, and some don’t the new changes. The Panoramio layer of photos now has 200,000 more photos than the last update making it a total of 1.2 million photos visible in Google Earth.

I’ve asked Google for a more accurate list of changes made in the layer update. I’ll update this post if there were other significant additions/changes.

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. Michael Schaap says:

    Also, it seems that Google Maps Norway is live, at http://maps.google.no .
    I don’t think it has been announced yet, and the localization doesn’t appear to be finished yet: directions in Nynorsk are given partially in English: http://tinyurl.com/2nd8q2

  2. Actually, Norway and Finland were added back during the huge layers update back in September 2006. See the post here:

  3. The layers in Google Earth were there, but maps.google.no definitely didn’t exist until some time this week.

  4. New Road Layers: … and Hungary 😉

  5. 1. Maps Sweden is also live. maps.google.se
    2. Anyone know why the nordic companies never get updated images, In sweden everyone uses hitta.se and eniro.se instead as they have much better images over Sweden.
    3. Are there any other layers like panoramio ?

  6. Thomas: At least in Denmark it was a Danish company (ScanKort) that contacted Google regarding the Danish overlays and not the other way around.
    Google has created offices in Denmark, Sweden and Norway now so maybe they would be more active in searching for content themselves instead of just relying on other companies to contact them.

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