New Google Earth Layers Process – April 2008

During the last week, Google has slowly rolled out several new layers for Google Earth. One notable thing about this is that they have changed the way they introduce layers to Google Earth. It used to be they would roll out several new layers all at once during a bi-monthly layer update process. Now, Google seems to have changed the process so they can add new layers on a daily basis if needed. This makes it possible to spread out the news on important new layers and keep new content coming to Google Earth on a regular basis.
When a new layer is added, if you re-load Google Earth, the new layers are automatically turned on. Either through the Preview layer under the Geographic Web layer folder, and/or directly in the layer folder the new layer belongs. Also, they have re-organized some of the layers during these deployments. The Terrain layer is now at the bottom of the list, and some of the other layers changed position slightly. Now, I just wish Google would improve the interface for the layers in Google Earth. A new version of GE with the ability to search layers is needed.
In addition to the other layers already mentioned, Google also rolled out a new layer for the “Every Human Has Rights” campaign. This layer is designed to highlight human rights and is another Google Earth Outreach effort which now has a default layer under the Global Awareness layer folder called The Elders: Every Human Has Rights. Stefan Geens of OgleEarth helped with the creation of this layer, and has more details.
Other layers introduced in the last week:

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. craig mielke says:

    “A new version of GE with the ability to search layers is needed.”
    Ditto, big time.

  2. Frank – you are absolutely right – with the proliferation of layers, a new interface is a top priority for GE.
    With new layers automatically enabled with what appears to be a sample of place marks with the option to ‘show this layer’, clutter and ‘noise’ is increasing to the detrement of the messages and information in the layers, which is a pity as GE is such a great vehicle for communication.
    A larger window and an improved structure of menus in the layers interface would really help. And a way of highlighting, explaining, and launching new layers off the main GE image, say through a new icon in the menu bar, would allow users to see what was available more easily and then to enable the ones that served their interests

  3. one thing Google Earth has to improve is the handling of layers. usually layers come in folders with some collection of bookmarks based on data the developer wants you to see. the folders technique is useful to categorize the placemarks, but sometimes one placemarks belongs to more than 2 folders, or the data can be rearranged in more than one way, like geographic location, type of placemark, date of placemark. we need something like the labels we get in Gmail, one placemark needs to belong to more than one category, and in the interface, we should have the options to “arrange collection by” (country, date, climate, emergency).or “show placemarks that meet this labels”

  4. Hi! It’s more a question.
    1. Why are some areas in a better quality than others. e.g.the city of LINZ/Austria with about 270.000 inhabitants is unusable but some small villages in Croatia have a better resolution
    2. Is there any possibility to see the date, when the pictures where made? This would be helpful in some cases.
    Thank you for you answere
    Fritz Mayer

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