Weekend Google Earth Update Included New 3D Terrain

Google has revealed today that the update over the weekend not only included new imagery, but also new 3D terrain in Google Earth. The 3D terrain is one of the things which makes Google Earth so much more unique than regular mapping tools like Google Maps. I like the different slant in Google’s post that includes some hints on locations with new terrain in this Google LatLong post. Tomorrow Google will probably reveal the full list of areas with new terrain. But, you can try to puzzle out their clues.
I’ll post any answers people make by commenting to this post. I’ll start by answering the first three of the eleven location clues. Here are the answers so far (UPDATED 15-April – all answers confirmed from LatLong):
1. Marina Del Rey, California – even the jetty shows up in the terrain!
2. Las Vegas, NV – check out the Hoover dam, looks like the 3D model needs to be adjusted to the new terrain
3. Coit Tower in San Francisco – the terrain definitely looks improved there.
4. San Sebastian, Spain – Thanks to GEB reader David. Says: “the terrain looks now very real!”
5. Pittsburgh, PA – Thanks to GEB reader Scott M.
6. Ottawa, Canada – Thanks to GEB reader Justin C.
7. Helsinki, Finland – Clue “Onnea” means “Good Luck” in Finish (thanks to Google Translate). Solved by Frank T.
8. Auckland’s Mount Victoria – Thanks to GEB reader Craig
9. Cincinatti, OH
10. Girona, Spain
11. Lake Superior / Great Lakes – this was a reference to the new bathymetry
If you want to learn and see more of Google Earth 3D terrain, read this earlier post which includes a link to a 3D tour of some of GE’s terrain.

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. Justin C says:

    Nearby Gatineau Hills….They should be referring to Ottawa in their “Where in the World is…” quiz. It says that this city’s downtown is not really full of hills but the nearby Gatineau Hills is a hike…That must mean the Gatineau Hills in Quebec north of Hull has been really revved up nice.

  2. The fourth place of “Where in the World is…” is the city of San Sebastian, Spain. The terrain looks now very real!

  3. #5 is Pittsburgh, PA.

  4. #8 is refering to Auckland’s Mount Victoria (174.798294W, 36.826088S). And for that matter #7 could be referring to the city Auckland but I can’t make sense of “Onnea”

  5. I can see the imagery has been updated around the town of Viborg (9.361993E, 36.826088S). But Denmark has an elevation range of only 200m so it’s not #11.
    Also I gave the wrong coords for Mount Vic, it’s in the Eastern hemisphere, not west.

  6. The Meteor Crater (AZ)( 35° 1.749’N, 111° 1.399’W) looks very realistic now.

  7. Pittsburgh is spelled with an H at the end please! Thank you very much.

  8. Surrey, BC, Canada updated as well…

  9. A program better than Google Earth?

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