December Data Update for Google Earth

Google pushed out some new data for Google Earth today. No new imagery, but this update broadens the number of countries with detailed information. Here’s a summary of the update:

  • Roads Layer Expanded – South Africa and Poland now have detailed roads when you turn on the roads layer.

  • Business Listings – Six additional countries now have business listings: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Sweden and Switzerland. Business listings are a powerful feature in Google Earth which are now found under the layer folder called “Place of Interest“. Here you find things like Dining, Lodging, Bars/Clubs, Coffee Shops, Shopping Malls, and more. After turning the layers on, zoom in to a city and you’ll see lots of icons appear (if the country you’re looking at has the listings). When you click on the placemarks, you usually get an address, phone number, description, and sometimes pictures and reviews. You can also click on a link to “Write a review” yourself.

  • Transportation Layer Update – The transportation layer is also found under the “Places of Interest” layer folder. This layer has information on a variety of different transportation systems: Airports, Rail, Subway, Tram, Bus, Waterway, and Mountain Rail. The layer now has enhanced graphics with better colors and lines to differentiate the different forms of travel. Google last enhanced this layer in July 2006. Some cities even have detailed public transportation information including schedules and route information which come from the Google Transit project. Google added the transit layer information in June of this year.

See pictures at the Google Lat Long post, or just go check these new layer updates in Google Earth yourself.

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. Great that GE finally got some road data for South Africa – but wow, the quality is horrible, they look like they were drawn with a child’s crayon. Then, they are so wildly out of position that they’re a distraction. What a joke!

  2. Nice update! I just noticed the rail system in Berlin has been appropriately divided into S-Bahn and U-Bahn, with attractive and informative symbols. Still no MetroTram stops, though.

  3. i have google earth program but it dose not
    installing on my PC

  4. Richard Tuffin says:

    I don’t know what you have done with the latest update but the imagery is older than what was on here before. I know this for a fact as I own a house in Canada and in July 2007 I cleared about an acre of ground which showed for some months as a brown area. I was surprised when this appeared as I had not expected the images to be updated that quickly. Now when I look at the images it has reverted to the previous scrubby woodland and shows a trailer which must be old pictures taken before about May 2007. What has happened to the more recent images post July 2007?

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