Les Saintes Got Some Terrain in Google Earth

[UPDATE 16-Jan: I asked Google, and they said the December update included a new update to the 3D terrain data they use from NASA SRTM. The update reportedly fixed gaps or issues for many coasts and remote islands around the world.]
Les Saintes, Guadeloupe with and without 3D Terrain in Google EarthOne of my favorite sailing destinations in the Caribbean was Les Saintes. A group of small beautiful French islands just south of Guadeloupe. Les Saintes are a favorite destination by ferry for cruise ship passengers who pull into Guadeloupe, and also by cruising sailors. Fortunately, the ferry passengers all come for brief 2 to 4 hour visits during the day (usually multiplying the population of the islands by a factor of 10). The island is normally pretty quiet, and much less populated, at night. Until recently, the Google Earth view of Les Saintes was missing 3D terrain. But, Les Saintes finally have some 3D terrain and you get a much better feel of what the islands look like (make sure you have the “Terrain” layer turned on in GE). One way to judge the popularity of a place with Google Earth, is to turn on the Panoramio photo layer. If you turn that layer on in GE, you’ll see many photos taken by visitors to Les Saintes. And, the pictures will give you a better feel of the beauty and quality of the place.

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. Dunkleosteus says:

    I am happy to report that Finland which is located almost completely north of 60° and therefore doesn’t have the default SRTM-based terrain has finally got decent terrain quality in Google Earth. Not that there is much to see but nice see some surface elevations… Google Maps which doesn’t have any higher-level terrain for most of Finland has yet to be updated.

  2. Alicante, Spain, also has 3D terrain, finally. Santa Barbara Castle, on a hill next to the beach has been flat up until now.
    I’d suggest you check other areas to see how wide-spread this terrain update is.

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