New Earth From Above Layer

Earth From Above BookI’ve previously written about the book called “Earth From Above” by famed French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand. I shared the story of a GEC member named ‘rednick’ who posted thumbnails of the photos (with permission from the photographer) and asked people to help find the locations of the photos in Google Earth. I liked the collection, and the photos, so much I went to look at the bookstore. The photos in the book (large coffee table-sized book) immediately captivated me, and I bought it on the spot.
Well, it turns out Yann actually hired ‘rednick’ to create a refined version of the KML collection, and Google has now included this new layer in the Google Earth Global Awareness layer folder. Open up the Global Awareness layer folder and look for “Earth from Above with Goodplanet”. Google also has a new web page about the Earth From Above layer. From Google:

Almost 500 photographs by French photographer and environmentalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand have been unveiled in Google Earth today. The photographs are presented as a layer in Google Earth with striking facts and figures about the state of the globe today. Yann Arthus-Bertrand and his non-profit organization aim to promote environmental sustainability by highlighting the beauty of the planet and the issues it faces through his photography. The layer, which is called “Earth from Above,” will be regularly updated with new photographs plus facts and figures by,
using data from various agencies around the world.

[UPDATE: I discovered after I wrote this post that this layer was actually translated in 14 languages. The content of the layer automatically is in the language according to the setting of your GE browser. Also, when you visit the web page at the Google Earth site it is also translated (e.g. spanish). Very thorough job of preparing content for the world!]

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. Hi Frank,
    Your article about the book “Earth From Above” got me thinking…
    When viewing in Google Earth at about a statewide scale, we’re all aware of the viewer’s blotchiness, due to the patchwork of different imagery that Google has acquired. Yet, when you view Google Maps at the same statewide scale, no patchiness occurs. I’m developing some statewide-level GE projects, and I prefer the GM version.
    Are you aware of any way (kmls, perhaps?) to display the non-patchy imagery as one zooms in from outer space in GE? I’m imagining that at some scale (countywide, perhaps), that imagery would be replaced by the default GE detailed patchwork imagery. Sort of along the Blue Marble application you created, where the cloud layer disappears as you zoom in. In my case, the non-patchy GM imagery would disappear, just as your clouds disappear.
    Speaking of Blue Marble, it might serve the purpose, but it either has resolution that is too coarse (even at a statewide level), or the network links are unstable.
    Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Stu Smith, Olympia, WA

  2. I saw earth from above because I bought a Fuji and went to the website years ago.
    I do not compete, but ‘earth from above’ was paid for, and now is not available.
    shame on you, your capitalist ways and your conscience.
    I can never use your name in a positive way again, in fact you have become the enemy.

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