Google News Layer Available for Google Earth

Google News Layer in Google EarthAs promised last week during Where 2.0, there is now a new layer in Google Earth found under the Gallery layer folder called Google News. The layer shows placemarks for articles found in Google News georeferenced to location. Turn the layer on, and as you zoom into a region you’ll see placemarks begin to appear – more as you get closer to a story. Each placemarks includes the headline for a story,and when you open the placemark you get the news source (e.g. Associated Press), an excerpt of the article, and a link to the original story. You’ll also see links for similar related headlines from other news sources. The example shown in the screenshot is a search for “Sichuan” with the Google News layer turned on.
What’s really interesting here is that Google is using new advanced search techniques to determine whether a story applies to that specific location. For example, I don’t see any Paris, France stories appearing over Paris, Texas (or vice versa). And, according to talks I heard today from Google’s Factory Tour of Search, they’ve also been working hard on the same technology extended to many languages. I would be interested to hear from people viewing Google Earth in other languages whether the new Google News layer works for them (leave a comment to this story).
Since there can be many news stories on any given day tied to a specific location, you will either see a spiral of placemarks for each story, a summary of news items on the same topic in a placemark, or if there’s just a few placemarks they will “explode” from a single visible placemark into multiple ones when you click on the placemark.
Google will also be making this new layer available under the new “More…” button in Google Maps which was just introduced last week with Panoramio photos and Wikipedia stories. Now, what I’m wondering is that if those three will be combined in Google Maps that way, why didn’t they include the new Google News layer under the Geographic Web layer for Google Earth? Maybe they want to experiment with it more with a larger audience before they combine it.
[UPDATE May 20: Here is the Google announcement. No mention in their announcement about it being limited to the English version, but several people have said they don’t see it in other language settings of Google Earth.]

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. Obviously a great addition as some of us already took the habit to check weather directly in GE.
    Now our browser is blue like an orange !

  2. Very interesting… My only question is why panaramio and not Picasso web?

  3. About Google news layer: in italian is not available, I am using GE Pro version 4.2

  4. Hi Frank
    I am using GE 4.3.7204.0836 (beta) in Danish – I don’t see this new layer. Can anyone with an English GE version fly over Denmark and say what kind of language does the news cover? Maybe some one could an an image URL? So I can see. thanks in advance
    However I will soon change to GE english version since there often are a delay with some of features before we see them in danish GE version

  5. The same for the french version, it seems to be only in english for the moment.
    No “Google actualit├ęs” for me :o)

  6. Other things seem to be going on in Layers in 4.3 – a revised sidebar, and a blue [X] replacing ‘i’ as the placemark for GE Community, for example.
    GE make spot the change like a game, as there seems to be no single ‘officia;’ source of information on changes. Any others noticed?

  7. The changes in Layers in 4.3 are getting confusing now – the ‘i’ placemarks are back for the GE Community after 24 hours of [X], but I suppose that;s the fun of a beta version.

  8. If you fly to the Dominican Republic this story shows up in the province of Espaillat. As far as I can tell, it’s unrelated. Does Google have any place for feedback for stuff that’s not working?

  9. No google news in Korean version of GoogleEarth. just same as Newyork times layer.

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