One of the original Google Earth developers (with the Keyhole team), Chikai Ohazama, has revealed some new statistics on Google Earth at the Lat Long blog. He says Google earth has “…been downloaded over 350 million times by people from around the world.” Actually, based on stats I’ve heard from Google it’s actually 350 million “activations” (which would mean unique installs). So the downloads may be a much larger number given the number of updates to GE over the last 2.5 years. Here is a summary of statistics mentioned from the post:
- 350+ Million
- 13 languages
- more than a third of the world’s land surface in high resolution imagery
- half of the world’s population in high res
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.
I’ve seen statistics like this WRT Google Earth many times, I just have a hard time believing it. According to “UsageWatch.org” – the best numbers I could find – there were about 821 million computers in use worldwide in 2005.
Do I really have to accept that something like 40% of *all* computers have Google Earth installed? (somebody help me here, math is not my thing).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a GIS guy, and I’d *love* to think geography is that popular, but…
What about iTunes? Numbers I’ve seen say 500 million downloads of iTunes so far…
Google Earth and iTunes in the same league? Hmmm.. We could check that hypothesis at my local high school.
For me personally, I have downloaded iTunes about 10 times (every little .x upgrade) and I’m on my fourth or fifth downlaod of Google. Each new version I had to “Download” and “Activate”. Are these numbers overblown?
I’d like to see unique “users” of Google Earth, or even number of unique sessions that access the underlying services. Forget “downloads” how is it being “used”? FOr me, this is data I can use to show people geographic information *is* important, and *is* being used. Not download stats so easily dismissed.
also, the statement “more than a third of the world’s land surface in high resolution imagery”
what is the threshold for “high resolution”?
I have to agree with Chris’ skepticism here. Sure, any computer stats from 2005 are going to be horribly outdated, but how many of those computers operating worldwide are *also* new enough to run Google Earth? I’m (sadly) still working off a three-year-old MacBook with OSX 10.3.9, so I can’t even run GE 4.2. I “downloaded” it when it released, but I couldn’t use it. Big difference.
I wonder what the odds are: google earth takes a snapshot while you’re standing in front of your house.