Google Earth Community Forums (BBS) is Back!

It’s back! The very popular Google Earth Community (GEC) BBS / Forums was taken offline suddenly last week (with no explanation given by Google). The GEC is the place where people interested in Google Earth content can share things they find or develop, or talk about places they see in Google Earth. But, its more than that for many regular Google Earth users who have various hobbies on hundreds of different topics who find the community a place to meet people with similar interests or get credit for their hard work in developing interesting collections.
Google put up a message on January 13th saying they were “upgrading software” and it would “be back very soon”. Now, two days later, the BBS is finally back. The site is using a much upgraded version of the UBB BBS system. Hopefully this will mean some improvements to the options for readers and posters.
There has been much speculation on why the site went down. But, no official word yet what went wrong. Whatever the reason for it being down, it’s good to have it back. There are hundreds of posts here at GEB, and thousands more all over the web, which point to files and posts at the GEC. It’s a relief to not have those returning “file not found” errors.
[UPDATE 19-January: Special thanks to Googler and GEC systems admin ‘Ink_polaroid’ who did some amazing coding this week and finally fixed it so all the old link references still work with the new forum system. This fixed literally thousands of web sites and blogs from having broken links.]

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. We’re aware that the redirection of old links isn’t working yet. We’re on it!

  2. masonicmoron says

    The new site looks great.
    A couple of tweaks and it should be fully running again.
    A vote of thanks should go out to the Team at Google
    All the best

  3. A few preliminary remarks:
    – the internal links are indeed not yet working, these will be fixed later today
    – Japanese characters are not yet rendered correctly (you get code instead)
    – it seems the Google Maps option is not available (yet)
    – some of the older folders need intervention by moderators to allow users to edit them
    There is some tweaking to do, but I hope it will improve the coming days.

  4. brad wellstone says

    What is that giant rectangular anomaly in the center of Iceland!

  5. and this was no ordinary upgrade… that would have been done in one day, no?
    to be completly offline for SEVERAL days is a major ***-up…!

  6. Ok. I dont know how to contact GE Blog author but hope he will see this msg here.
    Better resolution picture of oceans around the globe.
    I think you can see the bottom, like radar picture. You can see underwater “mountains”, cracks, shallow and dipper ends…
    GE is starting to look more and more natural. Great job.

  7. You have done a great job. Thanks alot for giving a wonderful idea to all. Thanks Google.

  8. Hi there
    Hope you can help me. Im actually quite frustrated looking at the community website. I would like to publish a KMl for a chain of restaurants. Ive created customised placemarks but would like it to appear in the primary database under dining. How do I go about doing this? What is BBS??? Do I submit through BBS? Please help.

  9. It’s too bad Google Earth/Forum is being spammed with Amer-Israeli pro-war info links by some people. It is no longer possible to click on an info link in Iran, for example, and not get neo-con War Propaganda which, by mandate, contains the words “Iran…bomb…nuclear….missile…” instead of real geographical information.
    All I did was comment on one of these links and my account was suddenly Banned, and the (Amer-Israeli?) Google employee, in a very raunchy tone, has put in a note telling me “Don’t come back again!” after banning my account. Interestingly There are no contact links to make a complaint against these individuals.
    Obviously this reflects very poorly on google and unfortunately Google is slowly going the way of Wikipedia

  10. Google Earth Community Forums Unavailable again (Keyhole is borked):
    Just an FYI.

  11. Marshall N Brown says

    There is a labeling error on Google Earth’s view of San Francisco. US101 at “Hospital Curve” (just east of S.F. General Hospital) is labeled “El Camino Real,” which it is not in anyone’s mind except come-lately boosters. ECR is located significantly to the west of 101; the section of 101 labeled as such is the James Lick Freeway.

  12. Hello every body,
    Am inquiring how I can use customized place makers on top of buildings in my google earth video just like the ones used by city reality short videos to mark buildings´╗┐. like the one in the link below

  13. valerio ablaza says


    I just want to ask, how can I update the map of the philippines?? because the map that i want to see have so many clouds in it. thanks

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.