Sneaky Google Earth Imagery Update

Last week, during the Google I/O conference, it appears Google managed to make another imagery update for Google Earth – and apparently already in Maps as well. So far Google has not officially announced the update. Maybe they were trying to turn it into a June update? However, GEB readers are way too savvy for that. Thanks to several tips from readers here, I have a list of sites which do indeed appear to have received new imagery last week (I’m still waiting for confirmation from Google):

  • EuropeAustria was the first place I heard got new imagery. There was even a news piece about this new 25 cm aerial imagery. Thanks to Martin for the tip. Several other eastern european countries appear to have updates including Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Serbia, and Montenegro.

  • Central AmericaMexico – many areas around the country, but particularly the outskirts of Mexico City; Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, Panama, and Honduras – all got some new strips of Digital Globe imagery. Also, a lot of new coverage for Dominican Republic.

  • South America – Some new coverage for Peru, Brazil; also, Trinidad and Tobago. A bit north, Grenada got some new strips as well.

  • AfricaNigeria got a lot of new coverage; nearby countries may also have some new coverage as well. Abidjan for example got a bunch of new images. Kampala in Uganda got some.

  • India – It appears a lot of new imagery was added for India.

  • Myanmar – Not surprisingly, some new imagery showed up for this storm-damaged country.

  • Thailand – Lots of new imagery for Thailand.

  • Philippines – I have seen many reports about the new imagery in the Philippines.

Thanks to all the many folks who sent me tips on the imagery over the last week. My apologies for not listing everyone’s name, it’s been a busy day of posts and catching up with E-mails! If you’ve heard of other areas, leave a comment here.

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.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.


  1. Hellfire Pass, Kanchanaburi region, Thailand.
    Area surrounding Sangkhlaburi, Thailand.
    Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai region, Thailand.
    Vientiane, Laos.
    Hue, Vietnam (bit cloudy though)

  2. Some parts of Mexico, the state of Sonora has now high resolution!

  3. tongwing says:

    Some parts of Singapore have been updated – Sengkang, Punggol, Ang Mo Kio area. Even though the imagery is dated 2004, it is still much better than the earlier low-res version.
    On a separate note, a lot of areas now have cloud compared to imagery in the previous years. 🙁 I guess our constant cloud cover is a problem.
    P/s to Google: How about getting more imagery in the hot summer months like May-Jul instead of the monsoon seasons like Nov-Jan? 😉

  4. Bangladesh: Jessore/Khulna area
    Bhutan: Thimpu
    Indonesia: Makassar (Ujung Pandang)
    Malaysia: Miri, Sibu
    Singapore: Kranji
    Thailand: Ban Phachi, Salaya, Lamphun

  5. Some cities in Romania too: Suceava, Vaslui. Could be more.

  6. For Victoria, Australia there is a small update. New aerial imagery has appeared for Benalla, although there is patchy cloud covering the imagey. The High Country (Great Dividing Range around Omeo) has also received some new imagery.

  7. All the UEFA Euro 2008 stadiums have been updated

  8. Rex Brown says:

    In see that Swaziland is now fully covered with aerial photos – at last! Not sure of resolution – how is that worked out?

  9. MaxTheC says:

    Center of Zurich has covering 3D buildings.

  10. Parts of Northwestern & Northeastern Albania, parts of Kosova (Gjakova, Podujeva and other towns).

  11. Bagan (Pagan), Burma has been partially updated in much higher resolution. Though frustratingly the update covers less than half of this incredible ancient site. The update is centred on the eastern side of the site and takes in Ngaung U airport. The high res. imagery is itself is out of date by several years as hotel construction sites reveal. Annoyingly even better quality hi res. images have been updated to the eastern side of the airport – which reveals little of interest. Whilst probably the greatest ancient architectural site in all of SE Asia is left mostly in a blur of low res imagery.
    Mandalay, Burma has had more hi res imagery added around Mandalay Hill.
    Mrauk U, Burma has also been slightly updated, but remains a blur. Google incorrectly states there is an airport at MrauK U – there isn’t and the nearest is Sittwe (a 5 hour boat journey away)

  12. Valeri Milkov says:
  13. The other half of Hue, Vietnam is in hi-res… I can see my house now!!

  14. There are some updates in Java Island, finally Borobudur areas covered with high res images !!!
    Despite Jakarta areas still doesn’t get updates since long ago, but I will be happy with more updates in big entire Java areas than at one city, though.

  15. Wonosobo and Garut Area in Java island also got updated.

  16. Bandung area has updated imagery, excellent, now some upper areas which previouslnya doesn’t have high res, this time got high res imagery such lembang area.

  17. swenney says:

    In Czech republic, Jeseniky mountains, Beskydy moutains and place around wilage Hruba Voda

  18. Da Lat in Vietnam looks fantastic now!

  19. Recently the images in Google earth seem to have gone dark, someone told me that it was due to day/night setting introduced in Google earth, but on my computer it is always dark & changing the day/night setting is of no help. Previously the images were bright & sunny. I tried to search for the cause but found none. Can anyone help?

  20. Most of the new Layers for Thailand are cloudy and of poor Quality. So is Bangkok, Pattaya, Phi Phi Island and others.

  21. Jack Coletti says:

    They ruined the waters around St. Petersburg, FL. We used the imagery to look at the sea bottom for local boating and fishing. The new imagery is poorly taken and shows only surface reflections. The old imagery was MUCH better.

  22. For the Philippines, I’ve noticed the higher resolution imagery update for Mayon Volcano. Thanks to Google Earth, but still there are vast areas obscured by clouds and the dates the imagery were taken are not the same and so the colors appear inconsistent.

  23. kkuppusamy says:

    when I download google earth always one half of the globe is dark even when the spots bookmarked by me are indicated among the darkness? Why is this and what can I do to get this half also visible?

  24. need better resolution of island of Grenada, especially to cover the entire town of saint george’s

  25. Since the original post in 2008, the area around the coast of Pattaya, Thailand has been updated.

  26. Thailand and Krabi even looks more distinct

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.