New Google Earth Imagery December 2008

[UPDATE 16-Jan-2009: This update also included updates to the 3D terrain data Google uses from NASA SRTM. The update reportedly fixed gaps or issues for many coasts and remote islands around the world. Some countries and regions (like the US and Switzerland) have higher resolution terrain from other sources.]
[UPDATE 0800 17-Dec: Google released the details on the imagery update here. But, you may find the GEB-reader-generated list below more interesting.]
Last night Google pushed out some new imagery for Google Earth. Unfortunately I had just arrived from sailing a boat down from North Carolina to St. Marys, Georgia – and the marina didn’t have Internet. So, I had to wait until this morning to get to an Internet connection. Anyway, I got a tip from Mickey at Digital Earth Blog who reported last night about the update. According to Mickey’s report (and confirmed by some GEB readers), below are places with new imagery (I will update this list as more details come in).
New imagery location list:

  • New York City – thanks Dave

  • Dubai – thanks Dave

  • Christchurch, New Zealand – thanks Dave

  • Cape Town, Johannesburg, South Africa

  • Australia – It appears the imagery for this continent has been processed so it looks more color/light consistent. The country no longer looks like a “zebra” with strips of different colored imagery.

  • Chennai, India – thanks Navneeth

  • Montevideo, Uruguay – thanks novolo

  • Budapest, Hungary – thanks several readers

  • Sao Paulo – thanks AKB

  • Italy:Perugia,Lucera, Foggia, Parma – thanks kecker, and Rene73

  • Baku, Azerbaijan – Thanks Rene73

  • Isle of Ibiza, Spain

  • Sofia, Bulgaria – thanks Rene73

  • Aman, Jordan – thanks Rene73

  • Kiew, Ukraine – thanks Rene73

  • Teheran, Iran – thanks Rene73

  • Ashgabat, Tukmenistan – thanks Rene73

  • Islamabad, Pakistan – thanks Rene73

  • Many places in eastern China – thanks Frank

  • Honolulu, Hawaii – thanks Bartman

  • Anchorage, Alaska – thanks Brian

  • Washtenaw County, Michigan – thanks Roy

  • Nicosia, Cyprus – thanks Vangelis

  • East Havana, Cuba – thanks hmngr06

[UPDATE: Google posted their “quiz” game with hints to locations with new imagery. Here are the answers from GEB readers:

  1. Isola di Ponza, Italy – thanks Mike
  2. Rabaul, PNG – thanks to Bartman and Mike
  3. Hamilton Island, Australia – thanks Bartman
  4. National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific,Oahu, USA – thanks Mike

You can tell whether suspected imagery is new by comparing the location with Google Maps. The Google Maps imagery database will be updated with this new imagery in a few days. Simply click on the “View in Google Maps” button in the upper middle of Google Earth to see the same location in GM.

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. All of Australia is now available in HighRes. 🙂

  2. Definitely certain parts of Chennai, India have new imagery. The previous set showing construction happening (in 2005) near my house, currently available in Maps, has been changed to imagery from last year, with the aforementioned constructions completed. Even the colour is a lot better.

  3. There’s no new hi-res in my neck of the woods (Philippines).
    Can anybody confirm if Google Maps was also updated? I’ve gotten the “sorry” tiles in Google Maps late last week and I’ve sort of equated it with the map tiles getting an update.

  4. theres new imagery in Montevideo, Uruguay too….

  5. budapest(hungary) has also a new imagery

  6. Budapest has been updated

  7. 2008 imagery for Sao Paulo

  8. ^Italy:Perugia,Lucera, and Foggia are in high res now

  9. entire isle of ibiza in high res now

  10. – Foggia, Italien
    – Lucera, Italien
    – Perugia, Italien
    – Johannesburg, Südafrika
    – Durban, Südafrika
    – Parma, Italien
    – Sofia, Bulgarien
    – Bukarest, Rumänien
    – Riadh, Saudi-Arabien
    – Kuwait-Stadt, Kuwait
    – Sana’a, Jemen
    – Amman, Jordanien
    – Baky, Aserbaidschan
    – Kiew, Ukraine
    – Teheran, Iran
    – Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
    – Islamabad, Pakistan

  11. Budapest, Hungary also got updated imagery.

  12. Not overly impressive – and can’t spot any improvements on a quick trip around the areas of Europe where coverage is inadequate.
    Perhaps Street View is absorbing GE energies.

  13. The Volcano is Mount Tavurvur near Rabaul Papua New Guinea.The Island with the Airstrip is Hamilton Island Australia

  14. honululu hawaii also updated

  15. Dubai wow… It looks terrific! Although I wished the images were of 2008. They are actually May 1,2006.

  16. Brian deZeeuw says:

    I think Anchorage, Alaska was updated as well. At least, the last time I looked it (and that was just a couple of weeks ago) was dated 2002, and now it’s 2006. unfortunately, the new imagery seems a little lower resolution than before (still not bad, though). I’m not sure if this is from this update though, as Google Maps has the same images-maybe they updated early.

  17. Long Island (most of it anyway)
    Washtenaw County, Michigan

  18. Dubai has been updated on GM already. Maybe all the GE imagery already has been updated on maps as well.
    Solutions to the Where in the world game (LatLongblog’s game to announce new imagery):
    1)Isola di Ponza, Italy
    2)Rabaul, PNG
    3)New Hebrides ??
    4)National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific,Oahu, USA

  19. What if the GM imagery is newer than GE. What happens with that?

  20. Nicosia, Cyprus
    Imagery updated

  21. Ibiza is in SPAIN, not in Italy!

  22. I am pretty sure that Ibiza is in Spain not Italy 🙂

  23. Ibiza island is in Spain, not in Italy.

  24. I hope Bali will update soon. Cause many people and business man using google map to finding their property and tourism information.

  25. The imagery in the east of Havana Cuba was also updated…

  26. Yes Christchurch NZ has new imagery .. but hardly an update .. the imagery is very muddy and of a lesser resolution, and is older than what was previous .. what are google up too???

  27. Makkah (Mecca), Saudi Arabia has been updated

  28. Hashimoto tomio says:

    Tavurvur (stratovolcano near Rabaul in East New Britain province, Papua New Guinea)

  29. Yes, they updated the northern parts of Johannesburg. Very cool of them!

  30. Steven Powell says:

    Still most of Scotland has very poor images. We must have pissed someone off

  31. Part of Cebu City,Philippines has been updated

  32. Poor coverage of Scotland – can any GE blog reader name any other town in the world with a population of 20k like Peterhead in NE Scotland completely obscured by cloud on GE and Maps?

  33. Any idea when the UK will be covered by street view; and the restof France?

  34. steven powell says:

    East Kilbride, population over 60k, just a brown blob.

  35. I’m in Christchurch. In the new imagery my house is covered by a big white cloud! How can I access the old satellite images again?

  36. Why is the Los Angeles area blocked out ? My laptop does not block it out….! I’ve re-downloaded twice… still blocked out…

  37. When does Google update the images, some places around the world are showing images from 3 or 4 years ago.

  38. Yes I have a map of Koh Samui on my site and one half is very low quality, and also 3 or 4 years old images.

  39. When can we expect new updated images. 2010 now!

  40. Very happy to see Azerbaijan in the list. As an administrator of Azerbaijan Business Directory we include google maps for the locations of companies in Azerbaijan and it is very inspiring to see 3D objects appearing on map.

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.