May 2009 Imagery Update for Google Earth

[UPDATE 14-May: Google released more details on this update.]
Last night Google pushed out an imagery update. The previous update was Easter weekend. First GEB reader to report was ‘AKB’ followed quickly by ‘Rafael S.’. Below are the reported locations so far of new imagery. I’m sure there are many more places yet to find. If you see what you think is new imagery, use the “View in Google Maps” option in Google Earth and compare the imagery. The update has not yet been pushed to Google Maps so you can make comparisons. Leave a comment below if you find a new location. Thanks!
Here’s the current list [UPDATED 1345 ET]:

  • Scotland – Large percentage covered now. Thanks AKB, Munden

  • Brazil – Porto Alegre. Thanks Rafael S.

  • USA – State College, Pennsylvania; Watauga Lake, TN; Savoy and Champagne-Urbana, IL; Newport News and Norfolk, VA; – Thanks Munden. Easter Washington – Palouse, WA; – Thanks David Zuhn. Parts of South Dakota including Hill City; Thanks Munden.

  • England – Southwest part. Thanks Munden. Isles of Scilly and the Orkney Isles are back. Also, I’ve found several areas all over England with updated imagery.

  • Norway – Oslo. Thanks Munden

  • Spain – Rota and Cadiz. Thanks Munden

  • France – A “lot” of areas including départements: Yonne,
    Rhône, Saône et Loire, Haute Savoie, Aube…; – Thanks Romain.

  • French Guyana – Kourou Space Center now high resolution; – Thanks Munden

  • Martinique – Entire island high res now. Thanks Steven

  • Paraguay – Areas of western Paraguay now have medium resolution Spot Image imagery.

  • India – Southern tip of India now has medium resolution Spot Image imagery.

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. I’m not sure why but I can’t see any of the above locations with newer images. They are the same as in Google Maps.

  2. david zuhn says

    Parts of eastern Washington state have better imagery, in particular Palouse, WA.

  3. Hello,
    I notice a lot of imagery update in France. Some départements (Yonne, Rhône, Saône et Loire, Haute Savoie, Aube…)

  4. The coast of French Guinea has also been updated. One excellent result of this is that the entire Kourou Space Center is now in high resolution.

  5. Martinique also has new imagery.

  6. 100% coverage of Scotland is a bit exaggerated. The whole northern half is only low res.

  7. Parts of South Dakota have been updated. Some of the older satellite imagery has been replaced with newer images from .. the USDA Farm Service Agency apparently. The area that caught my eye to point this out was Hill City, SD where the 1880 Steam Train is located.

  8. The San Bernardino area in Southern California has updated imagery.

  9. An hour ago, I saw the new imagery. Now there’s only the old imagery. I deleted the cache, but no difference. Strange!

  10. After a quick look, it appears that Michigan has been filled in completely, probably from the state’s DOQ database.

  11. SCOTLAND – great to see about 80% civerage in high res, with terrain in places like the Cuillins of Skye, and even the remote island of St Kilda covered. At last most of the clouds have cleared!
    Incidently, the Orkneys, where more of the islands ate in high res, are part of Scotland.
    ENGLAD – may be Maps are catching up, but so far I have only confirmed updates to the western part of East Sussex and Cornwall, with the wonderful Isles of Scilly at high res for the forst time. Any other identified areas of new coverage?

  12. Large portions of Nevada, Oregon and Texas. Possibly Spot Images.

  13. Minnesota and Michigan were also updated.

  14. why Iran is not ??? why ?!!!! every month we hope to see Iran in high resolution but we are sorry .. why ??

  15. Shrivenham, UK

  16. pitcard says

    North Korea imagery appears to be updated – zoomed into Pyongyang and its labeled copyright 2009.
    On Iran mentioned above – my best guess is that they cant get hi-res for civilian use due to the political situation. Hi-res probably exists but is being reserved for military analysis.

  17. Watauga Lake looks spiffy.

  18. It looks like fairly large sections of Oregon (and Washington) got updates too. The Columbia River Gorge (east of Corbett, OR) is now in higher resolution. Before it was just large green blobs, now you can almost count trees. Central Oregon area around Three Sisters and Mt. Bachelor is also now in higher res. The area surrounding Mt. Rainier got updated too. I’ve only spent a few minutes looking around Oregon (and Wash.) but I bet there’s a lot more I haven’t noticed.

  19. Eastern Shore of Virginia is updated, high res too.

  20. I hope Belgium will get updated soon, because 70-80ù of the country is still low res.

  21. Fromage. says

    Over France, the yesterday new imagery is gone…
    Did you notice the same in other places ?

  22. I don’t see any updates. Strange! Scotland, for example, is not updated at all. Also the images of Porto Alegre in Brazil are of 2005, not 2009. What’s wrong?

  23. Is there to figure why I don’t see any of new imagery ? I use the latest Google Earth (5.0.11733.9347) and this kind of problem never occured before. None of the places mentioned in your list has newer imagery in my Google Earth.

  24. Trieste, Italy got an update too.

  25. fromage. says

    Imagery’s back again…

  26. Seems this update didn’t get pushed out to all users at the same time. I now can see Scotland almost fully in high res and I had my cache cleared yesterday.

  27. Hello, others french départements updated like Cantal, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Haute-Vienne, Sarthe, Vienne, Vosges …

  28. Other départements of France : Aveyron, Calvados, Haute-Normandie …

  29. FINALLY we have Porto Alegre in high resolution. Thank you Google Earth. :~ Make Gramado and São Miguel das Missões and I’ll ask no more.
    …well, I’ll ask. What about the Rio Grande do Sul state full in high definition?

  30. I’m not sure if this is because of the new Google Earth verios or something else. Yesterday I was able to see the new imagery. But today, all came back and I see the old imagery again. Something is wrong with Google Earth. I see another poster (Karl) had the same problem.

  31. Switzerland – Locarno – images from 6 may 2008 !!!

  32. Ken Grabach says

    I have understood that new imagery was supposed to be used for Buter County, Ohio. Some areas have good resolution, but other parts, including east portion of Oxford Township, are still at very low resolution, imagery that was used before changing to version 5.

  33. I would very much like that in Bethlehem, BR was in high resolution (the images
    are present behind the historic images) so that I can do
    better 3D models.
    Thank you very much.
    Eloi Raiol

  34. Hamilton, New Zealand got some really high quality images.

  35. Glendon Tatu says

    Contra Costa County, CA has new 3D terrain

  36. Orkney islands finally have major coverage, but Kirkwall and much of the main island still has the old imagery

  37. Valentin says

    New imagery for Mayotte.

  38. Vancouver, Canada has also been updated (Olympic Speed Skating Venue is now vissible)

  39. I believe upstate New York (Addirondacks) also has some new high-res imagery dated 2006. Lake Pleasant area, Hamilton County.

  40. Innes Ross says

    RE: Scottish coverage. Noticed that Elgin & Forres, both in Moray are now in LOWER resolution and images are from 2004. Previously the higher resolution images were from Feb 2007. Strangely parts of the Feb 2007 images in that are still shown.

  41. Update South Florida. Come onnn. Nobody is going to look at farms in Dakota.

  42. Are you sure they have updated the image resolutions for south india? because i am not seeing any difference in my google earth….the images are not updated for chennai, india…

  43. Phil Emerson says

    I am interested in the home town of my wife which is Butuan City Philippines. The same image has been there for a long time. Wondering when or if there are plans to change it?

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.