Washington DC Imagery Update for Google Earth – Censorship Note

[UPDATE 19-JAN: Thanks to a tip by ‘Hill’ at the GEC, it appears Google might be posting a satellite image of Tuesday’s inauguration shortly after the event thanks to the new GeoEye satellite. See this story by VentureBeat. The only problem is that there’s a “mostly cloudy” forecast.]
Google has just updated imagery for the Washington DC National Mall area of Google Earth. This special update was probably due to the upcoming Presidential Inauguration on Tuesday of President-elect Barack Obama. The new imagery is dated 2008 and there also appears to be new imagery in surrounding areas. The White House and Capitol building appear to still have the same older imagery dated 2002. Turn on the 3D Buildings layer for added realism.
Washington, DC in Google Earth
The inauguration ceremony takes place to the west of the Capitol Building (see a good description of the Inauguration from About.com). Then a parade is held from the Capitol Building to the White House. Google Maps Mania has a summary of several useful maps for viewing the inauguration details. You can view a map of road closures which shows the location of Jumbotron monitors near the Lincoln Memorial, and here is a video (with very annoying music) showing the progression of the parade in 3D using Google Earth.
Censorship Note
Censorship aficionados will be noticing that the US Naval Observatory (where the home of the Vice-President is located), now has a new image dated Feb 6, 2007. This image is a bit blurry, but is not heavily pixelated/censored like the old imagery. See a comparison of the before and after views:
Naval Observatory not censored in 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. Masonicmoron says:
  2. Hi I wanted to know if I can use any of your maps in my blogs?

Leave a Reply