New Photo Viewer with Gigapixel Layer in Google Earth

Part of the new Google Earth 4.2 which was just released today (download here) is a new photo viewing feature which lets you view photos in a totally new way. Rather than try to explain it in words, I’ve made a quick video to illustrate the new feature. It is really amazing! To see the first set of available photos using the new technique, you will need to turn on the new “Gigapxl Photos” layer under the “Featured Content” layer. This new layer shows placemarks for many places with photos that were taken with a gigapixel camera.

Some of the photos in the Gigapxl photo layer were taken by Google Earth Chief Technologist Michael Jones (read more about the camera and techniques at There are some beautiful photos, and viewing them with the new feature in Google Earth is very cool. My only real disappointment is that the SpaceNavigator is not supported yet for panning and zooming with the new photoviewer. Hopefully that will be corrected soon.
Anyway, this new photo viewing feature is an open new feature and Google is releasing tools allowing you to easily put your photos in Google Earth and use the new photo viewing feature. More to come!

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. Chris Bennett says:

    Just wanted to say those pics are extremley clear. Which I realized when I read that it was 7:15 according to the tech watch .

  2. Cool but not the usual Google level of WOW.
    What happened with those awesome panoramic spheres that you can enter after which you see the panoramic view from that point.
    With the Sky type of navigation it should be easy to navigate such panoramic spheres.
    While I am commenting… Does anyone know how to bank a camera view using the Google Earth COM API? There doesn’t appear to be such a method but Google earth can do it when you are in Fly mode.

  3. Chris Bennett says:

    Wow, I just re-read my prior post and what I meant is that on the pic of Spaceship One the tech working on White Knght’s engine is wearing a watch that when you zoom in reads 7:15.I got distrcted a few times while trying to write the comment so I must have thought I was done. Do I feel dumb.

  4. I’d like my SpaceNavigator working seamlessly in those gigapxls… escaping the photo viewer with click on one of the two buttons…

  5. If somebody decides to post gigapixel photos of the Las Vegaa Strip into Google Earth; that’s really gonna knock my socks off.

  6. Why don’t you have updated photo’s on Google as earlier as 6 months to 1 yr old.And what’s with the blurred area’s as i zoom in on some parts of the world?

  7. still interesting even with hindsight if only to demonstrate the continuing development of google earth. Thanks. P

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