Big December Imagery Update for Google Earth

[UPDATE: Google has released details on the imagery update. Read the details here.]
Google has quietly slipped out a new imagery update today. [UPDATE: Google has made an announcement with a guessing game again.] Google’s gift to some of us for the holidays. First reported to me by the guys at They found several cities:

  • Germany: Leipzig, Augsburg, Aachen
  • France: Le Havre, Nantes, Lyon
  • Salzburk, Austria
  • Warsaw, Poland
  • Saint Louis, MO
  • Denmark
  • Austin, Tx
  • Japan: Tokyo, Nagoya – There is some nice aerial imagery in Tokyo with less than 10 cm resolution!
  • Sydney, Australia

But, there are many locations all over the world – some really large ones (like Antarctica) – Check out the comments below.
Gerardo Paz and I just spent some time and we found some other sites with new high resolution imagery:

  • Antarctica now has new broad imagery from the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica Project

  • San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina – a favorite place of Gerardo’s is there
  • The island of Montserrat – including the new volcano is now in high res. And the terrain is updated to show the new volcano’s terrain
  • The Ile des Saintes, Guadaloupe are now in high res
  • Canoun and Tobago Cays, in the Grenadines are updated
  • Dominica is entirely high res now
  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think the western part of Virginia was all high res before…?

Someone in the comments below pointed out some new imagery on the north island of New Zealand. Interestingly, this imagery is aerial photography from something called “Image Horizons Regional Consortium”. Some of the imagery is about the same resolution as satellite photography – but, there is also some really nice 10 – 20 cm resolution imagery in places as well.
Oh, and the Google Headquarters has been updated as well – you can see the solar panels.
I will update this post with more details when they are forthcoming. Please add your comments below if you find other locations.

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. Lyon may be pretty detailed, but it’s also pretty old stuff. The tramway system, which went into operation in 2001, is still shown as under construction. Which means the imagery is from 2000 or earlier.

  2. There are pieces of new imagery in Ireland too. Finally I can see my house!

  3. Sindelfingen and Böblingen, Germany are much improved. Formerly, there was a high-resolution square around Stuttgart that barely touched the eastern edge of Sindelfingen and Böblingen. Now, however, much of the area to the west and south of these towns in also high res.

  4. Kuna, Idaho is updated. This is close to Boise, which was updated over the summer.

  5. All of Cole County, Missouri including Jefferson City.

  6. There are some new image strips in Poland, two in the Lower Silesia region (Walbrzych, Swidnica, Swiebodzice), a few NW (Bukowno to Zawiercie) and NE of Kraków (Bejsce), Chlewiska in Middle Poland, Lebork in the north etc.
    Nothing in Northern Slovakia though 🙁

  7. Some updates to Ireland too, including parts of Cork, Galway, Mayo, Clare, Kerry

  8. Seward, Alaska is hi-res now too!

  9. Bangkok is updated too

  10. Los Angeles updated near Hollywood, Burbank and East LA.

  11. The Landsat ETM+ Antarctica addition is definitely a nice thing to see — this was the portion most ellusive for any of the world datasets, and for the obvious reasons. Now that it’s available, I’m sure we can expect others to update with that source as well, in time.

  12. Areas around Atlanta, GA have new imagery.

  13. Karachi, Pakistan, seems to have been taken back in time; the new imagery takes it back to 2003, from 2005 till yesterday! Any explanations? Digial Globe has shots from 12/06/07! Why can’t we get those?

  14. Well, no updates for the Melbourne metropolitan area this time around, but i’ll be forgiving of this due to Street View coming soon.
    For Victoria, there is a few new strips.
    One of the worlds most famous roads, the Great Ocean Road gets it’s first high-res imagery around Angelsea, Lorne and Lathers Hill.
    Areas east of Woodend including Mount Macedon and the famous Hanging Rock now have high-res.
    And over in the Gippsland area, the popular coastside resort town of Lakes Enterance now has high-res.
    Thats about it but I have to question the method in which the imagery gets into Google Earth. It looks like Digital Globe takes the imagery, then Google buys it off them. But I thought Google payed a flat fee and for that they get whatever imagery Digital Globe takes. It looks like they (Google) personally hand pick which bits of imagery to purchase. Quite annoying when you see coloured shapes over certain areas and imagery never appears there after an update.

  15. Updated imagery in Western New York, specifically around the towns of Holland, Strykersville, and Wales.

  16. Theres allot of high res sections in BC, mostly around Prince George, but also scattered throughout.

  17. Googler Girl says

    Lynchburg, VA!

  18. Some Big Updates in NZ as well. Lower Central North Island – From Levin through to the western side of Lake Taupo.

  19. Some Big Updates in NZ as well. Lower Central North Island – From Levin through to the western side of Lake Taupo.

  20. there is now high res coverage for city of Sabinov in Slovakia

  21. Kevin Anderson says

    Feilding and Palmerston North in New Zealand now have new imagery.

  22. Sukhotai (Thailand) been updated too. There are some more small parts of Thai hinterland in HR too.

  23. Also, the southern part of Chile has recieved some extra data. E.g. the island of Chiloé (ranked 3rd in a island destination contest, see
    has recieved some new stripes.

  24. los angeles got new footage around the pico and fairfax area

  25. I think, the Snowdonia region in Wales is new, and there is also new imagery of the Acores islands, mount Pico and Sao Miguel.

  26. i believe there’s a small update of data around Moscow. at least as i can see now it’s an area around Zelenograd + some big straight line of data including Obninsk etc.

  27. There are pieces of new imagery in Brazil too!!

  28. Also Kaiserslautern/Germany was updated

  29. Nantes imagery is pretty recent, about february I think.

  30. i am interested in the better image of my village called doddalahalli 17 km south of kanakapura, about 70 km south west of bangalore.
    in google earth two minor irrigation reservoirs 2km from the villge are in high resolution. why is the village , harobale dam, arkavathi river are in very low resolution

  31. The Faroe Islands got an update : )

  32. Scotland – new patches of variable quality higher resolution coverage, particularly on the coast to the SW of Glasgow, and on the eastern coasts including Inverness. (Is this specially for developers of golf resorts?) Also a very rugged patch of the extreme NW in Sutherland.
    Wales – a small part of Snowdonia, and parts of Clywyd NW from Wrexham on the borders with England.
    However, this is still limited progress in two parts of the UK with wonderful terrain. What is holding things up?

  33. Reno, Nevada has updates imagery

  34. Innsbruck, Austria got a higher resolution now

  35. I wouldn’t say that Warsaw was updated. Well, not now…
    What I see is the same imagery as it was after October update (what’s more that update looked only like color+contrast improvement, not new photo – it’s still from ~2005)
    I don’t say there was no update at all, maybe there is some new data in the outskirts. Let’s wait for the official word from Google.
    LIMA data is great, but it shows one weakness in GE (same weakness exists in World Wind) – viewing imagery around the poles. Tiles are stretched into thin triangles and you download 360 deg of data when lat=90… This is why the mosaic ends somewhere at 82S in GE;)

  36. Areas in the Western Bulgaria around 43°45’N;23°00 E (Delyan village) have much better resolution (10 m) now so I can see our country house. Before 16.12.2007 the whole locality was a blur.
    On the other hand, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA is still very low resolution, as before.

  37. Great new imagery for Salamanca, Spain!!! 😀

  38. Denmark has been updated with a little bit better imagery than before. There’s also very high resolution imagery in cities like Århus and Randers 🙂
    British Columbia has also been updated with various imagery spread over the state

  39. It looks like only Central Virginia is covered by 1 meter now. With spots of high res around the state.
    Western VA (Blacksburg) and Eastern VA (Fredericksburg) are still natural vue 15 meter imagery.

  40. Estonia got some new image strips too. Approximately half of Tartu (second biggest city) is now covered and a few other areas too. Also the area west from Tallinn has a picture taken in winter – you can see the frozen sea and some broken ice too. Kind of out of place, but fun 🙂

  41. Egyptian Knight says

    I believe that some areas in Egypt have been covered too, especially the world class summer and winter resort Sharm El Sheikh…

  42. Osaka got a high res update too

  43. Ottawa South has been updated, including Barrhaven, Manotick, Osgoode, and most other small communities south of Ottawa. (about time) Updated with Images taken in September 2007 by Digital Globe. (But no higher resolution).

  44. Yes, I second what Anti already said about updated imagery of Estonia. A tiny country as my home country is, I know the “clear squares” of it by heart, and it was nice to see the new ones that have appeared. Additionally to Tallinn and Tartu and many other updated parts of Estonia, there is also a new square south east of Hiiumaa island too. The land is far from being 100% covered, but still thanks Google for adding the new imagery of Estonia.

  45. Ray Burrows says

    New image strips in Northern Ireland covering –
    Antrim(Town), Coleraine,Portstewart, Portrush, Bushmills, Ballymoney,Ballycastle,Magherafelt & Giant’s Causeway.

  46. A big thank you to Google for updating Ireland, it was well overdue. It’s great.

  47. Lon Lat Blog Quiz answers:
    1) Seward, Alaska
    2) Ogrodzieniec, Poland
    3) Santiago de Cali, Valle del Cauca Colombia
    4) Tokyo
    5) Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
    6) Poznań, Poland
    7) Saint Helier, Island of Jersey
    8) Ouarzazate, Morocco
    9) Odessa, Ukraine
    10) Barkerville, British Columbia, Canada
    11) Cobh, Ireland
    12) Leipzig, Germany
    13) Hangzhou Bay south of Shanghai
    14) Copenhagen, Denmark
    15) Honfleur, France
    16) Porto Seguro, Brazil
    17) Mountain View, California

  48. Jerome Levine says

    Los Cabos Mexico updated

  49. A strip of high resolution was added to the south of Sofia, Bulgaria, covering Iskar Lake and southward to the town of Bansko.
    The area around the town of Tarnovo, Bulgaria, has higher resolution (unfortunately, snow-covered).

  50. The area east of Kiev, Ukraine (and maybe the city itself as well) as been updated, including Borispyl international airport.

  51. Added High resolution image of southern Brazil,like the city port of RIO GRANDE(S. 32°02´ W.52°05´) and the northern part of the city of BENTO GONÇALVES(S. 29°10´W. 51°30´) and its wine touristic region.

  52. Poland: Kielce, Leszno, Pruszcz Gdanski, Radzanow…

  53. Yeah Innsbruck, finally!!!
    Vienna somehow canged color, but is still in mediocre resolution with clouds all over the city and imagery from 2003. Well anyways the color is nicer now.

  54. Hi ya
    Other updates include
    Coventry UK home of “Classic Air”
    And Good Old wales it seems like wales largest mountain Snowdon is visable 🙂
    Also check out Ramenskoye Flight Test Center theres a rare Tupolev Tu-144, over on the GE community were trying to name all the aircraft there 🙂

  55. Calgary, Alberta, Canada has updated imagery (mostly from May 2007). I’m not positive, but I think Edmonton, Alberta also has updated images.

  56. Aeropuerto de Valladolid – España

  57. Also in Bulgaria the town of Sliven has somewhat better resolution now… you can just see the stations on the Karandila chairlift now…

  58. GeoReporter says

    Hi Google Earth fans:
    New high resolution patch of southern Brazil includes the city of NOVA ROMA DO SUL (WEST 51°24´SOUTH 28°59´) with the beautiful canyons formed by the the river “rio das antas”.
    There is also a new patch that includes the city of SÃO SALVADOR DO SUL(W.51°30´S29°26´)and region.

  59. The imagery of Antrim town looks old because there is a big tesco store in the town that has been there a few years and its not in the imagery

  60. AlSamad Estate says

    Looking at Karachi, Pakistan it seems that the image of entire karachi (till its populated areas) has been colored black -you can see the homes and building tops white but the roads and evering thing seems to be kind of blacked out i dont know why GE did this but it sure is’nt right and I think its not an Updated Image -the surrounding area of karachi has been updated but the city area images are shown to be of year 2007 but there are in my view not updated since 2003 or 2005 i dont know why…… BUT STILL CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHY ‘GE’ BLACKED THE ENTIRE CITY -why

  61. The latest Bangalore imagery needs to be updated. The one available in Google earth is very old ((2 years old)and many recent developments such as new highways, buildings etc. are not updated.
    Kind of embarrasing for Google as they fail to update the imagery of an important city like Bangalore.
    PS: Google has a big development center in Bangalore and yet they missed it.

  62. Areas of Christchurch, New Zealand has been updated to a much more recent image.

  63. New high resolution strip around Gliwice in Poland.

  64. The city Of Cotonou capital of the Republic of Benin had many changes in its roads, buildings and many other developments, it needs to be updated, the one available in google earth is very old.

  65. Hello
    New high resolution patch of southern Brazil includes the city of NOVA ROMA DO SUL (WEST 51°24´SOUTH 28°59´) with the beautiful canyons formed by the the river “rio das antas”.
    There is also a new patch that includes the city of SÃO SALVADOR DO SUL(W.51°30´S29°26´)and region.
    rio das antas

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.