Links: Missing Atlantis, In the Navy, Predators Not Censored, Utrecht Building Plans, English Lake District

  • Missing Atlantis – I saw the story of Atlantis being “found” in Google Earth appear in several places late last week. Someone was all excited that there was a strange grid on the bottom of the ocean floor in the new GE bathymetry. Their conclusion? Atlantis! This was obviously not true, but it was picked up by so many news sources. That got Stefan going on about media stupidity. And soon Google had a spokesperson explain to reporters what it really was: Sonar tracks from a ship. But, the story about Atlantis persisted, so now Google has posted a full explanation on their blogs (both the official Google blog and LatLong). Google made sure not to dispel the notion that Atlantis may yet be found. One other interesting twist: The spot in the news was actually first discovered when the new bathymetry was first released as 2D imagery back in January and discussed at the GEC. The real story is that the “gridded” survey location was actually conducted to evaluate the location for possible nuclear waste disposal (unknown whether anyone decided they could do it).

  • In the Navy – John Bailey, who in real life studies volcanoes at the Alaska Volcano Observatory & Arctic Region Supercomputing Center, decided to experiment with the new GE 5 Tour functions. He created this amusing tour which shows off some of the new features of GE 5 – in particular the ocean. Check it out – the music choice alone is worth a laugh.

  • Predators not censored – Stefan Geens (OgleEarth) made a detailed analysis of the recent news reports about censorship of US military Predator drones found in imagery of Pakistan (but, no longer in the GE imagery). He concluded that Google must have actually censored imagery. But, Google came back to him after his post and explained what really happened. So, Stefan has now posted a retraction that Google had simply updated imagery in the area and the older image just hasn’t been put in the historical imagery archive. The new historical imagery archive is still far from complete – especially in remote areas such as the airport in Pakistan.

  • Utrecht Building Plans – Michiel Quist sent me this link to his stunning work creating dozens of 3D building models in Utrecht. The interesting collection not only shows current buildings. He has produced a time animation which lets you watch how the buildings change over the last few years, and up until the year 2021. The 3D time animation KML is 25 Mbytes in size (he explained to me it was designed for internal use at a business, so size wasn’t an issue). An amazing job which must have taken quite some time to produce (considering the number of models)!

  • English Lake District – Justin Farrell of the UK sent me his tour of the English Lake District. The tour uses the GE plugin in your browser. I like the way he uses simple button controls to guide you through the tour. Nice work Justin!

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. very interesting.
    since the footage was available through a commercial provider it would have been very odd if google censored it since they publicly stated they don’t censor footage, only the entities that supply the footage censor the footage before it get to google and is inserted into the database…
    the fact that the base is still visible, and all the details, the containers and the triangular boxes which are all clear indicators of drones support crews still @ that location is a good indicator that google did not censor anything and that their story makes sense…
    there;s a very good thread on the keyhole BBS about the new and old footage, as well as all the details that are visible now and what they tell us when compared to the california HQ of R&D of the drones manufacturer…

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