August 2009 Imagery Update for Google Earth

[UPDATE August 4: Google released the official details on this update today, and also once again released a handy KML file showing the details on the globe. Read more.]
Google has pushed out an imagery update today for Google Earth. From various accounts, this one covers a lot of area. The update is currently only available in Google Earth, so you can verify whether imagery is new by clicking on the “View in Google Maps” option to compare the current new GE imagery to the previous release. If you find new imagery, not listed below, please leave a comment to this post so we can build a list. Some of the new areas are plainly obvious because of the changes in color visible from space.
I just want to recognize Google has been listening to feedback on imagery. In today’s release they’ve improved the look of shallow waters – especially off the Bahamas and Caribbean. They’re using some much better medium resolution satellite imagery now which looks way better than either bathymetry “blue” or low resolution landsat (that had bad color). The Bahamas waters (and other areas) look much more like it should from above.
Hopefully, Google will release another KML file showing the actual update outlines of new imagery tomorrow (Tuesday).
Here’s the current places found by GEB readers with new and/or updated imagery [UPDATED – 3-August 14:03 ET ]:

  • China – Beijing (very new GeoEye – dated June 29, 2009) – Thanks to the first report of new imagery by GEB reader Lynne.

  • USA – Niagara Falls (high res restored) – Thanks ‘GT’; Miami, FL – Thanks ‘urd’; Lots of areas in Florida; Pascagoula, MS – Thanks ‘Munden’

  • Africa – These countries have new medium resolution 2.5m/pixel Spot Image: Western Sahara, Mauritania,
    Senegal and The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Most of Niger, Burkina
    , Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Madagascar, Angola – Thanks ‘Steven’

  • Bahamas – The blue green waters of the Bahamas are back! Thanks ‘Steven’. I’m really glad to see this one because I felt GE had gone backwards in this area.

  • Italy – Cadenabbia, Lombardy, Menaggio, Bellagio, Varenna – Thanks ‘Rauski’; Amalfi Coast – Thanks ‘fatboy’

  • Balkan Peninsula – colorization changes, possibly more of Europe as well has new colorization. Thanks ‘barakuda’

  • Thailand – this country also was treated with new 2.5m Spot Image imagery in areas not already with high resolution.

  • Spain – Costa del Sol Marbella – Thanks ‘fatboy’; Catalonia re-colorized – looks much better according to ‘JP’

  • Gibralta – Thanks ‘fatboy’

  • Oman – Muscat – Thanks ‘fatboy’

  • Finland – Tampere, Rovaniemi, parts of northern finland – Thanks ‘Rauski’

  • Ireland – Cork – thanks ‘robbiemoore24”; Dublin – thanks Noel B.

  • Belgium – Apparently new high res for the entire country – thanks ‘storaz’

  • South Korea – Ulsan and Busan. Also re-colorization? Thanks ‘Munden’; Cheju Island – Thanks ‘jlb’

  • Europe – many countries are “re-colorized” according to GEB commenters below.

  • Vietnam – North and southern parts – Thanks ‘urd’

  • Mexico – Re-colorization for this country, one report of bad green colors (even clouds) – Thanks ‘Munden’

  • Cambodia – Also has large areas with 2.5m Spot Image – thanks ‘Donalbain’

  • Australia – Perth – thanks ‘James’

  • Poland – Warsaw area – thanks ‘PaSKud’

  • Brazil – Curitiba, Pinhais – high res – Thanks Andreas

  • Ukraine – Makeevka, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Simferopol. Other areas in “dark” colors. Thanks ‘oan’

  • Argentina – Chaco Province: Taco Pozo, Presidencia de la Plaza, Charadai,
    Capitán Solari; Córdoba Province: Río Segundo, Pilar. Thanks ‘Pertile’

  • Turkey – between Manavgat and Antalya (but has clouds) – Thanks ‘Richy’.

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. New imagery
    along Amalfi Coast, Italy
    Costa del Sol, Spain
    around Muscat, Oman

  2. 1. Italy (Lombardy): lake como area, Menaggio, Bellagio, Varenna…
    2. Finland: Tampere, Rovaniemi, parts of northern finland

  3. Ireland-cork

  4. Complete coverage for Belgium !! Finally

  5. The Iberian Peninsula has been colorized. Before this update, Portugal, Catalonia and Andalusia looked different colorization respect to the remainder of the peninsula.

  6. It will be interesting to see if Google release a KML file of the August updates/new imagery like the one released on 14 July for that month. It was very useful, and made an interesting comparison with the list compiled from GEB readers’ observations – pretty good on major changes – but it was not clear if the file was just a one off.

  7. Miami, and Key West in Florida….Santiago De Cuba and, Manzanillo in Cuba..Bimini and Bahamas..

  8. Also new imagery in the North ans South of Vientnam

  9. I don’t know if it’s just me but is the “Scale Legend” on the bottom left new? (selectable under “View”)

  10. Antonio Teixeira says:

    What about a KML file for the August Imagery Update as you did in July? I found it most helpful!
    Thank you

  11. South Korea:
    New Images: Ulsan and Busan
    The rest of the country looks like there area a lot of colorization updates to satellite imagery such as Seoul, Incheon, Gimhae, and Jinhae.

  12. Catalonia (Spain) repainted. Much better now!

  13. New imagery for the south of Cheju island (South Korea)

  14. Neutravo says:

    – Uzbekistan and west of Kazakhstan got Spot Image coverage.

  15. There is recolored imagery for Mexico, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo, Macedonia, Greece, Albania, Western Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Egypt, new 2.5m Medium Resolution Spot Imagery for Western Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, More new imagery for, Ohio, Albuquerque, Some areas near Las Vegas.

  16. Mexico: Massive colorization. At least some of it is very bad. Look south of Monterrey. GREEN clouds? You can also hardly even see the Cola de Caballo (Horsetail Falls) because the water has been turned so green that it blends in with the trees.
    The colorization continues on up to the areas just north of the border such as around Brownsville, TX.

  17. USA: Florida has a fairly large update actually. There’s a long section from just north of Cape Canveral that goes south. (excluding Melbourne, FL) So, yes, Cape Canveral got updated.
    The new imagery ends somewhere north of St Lucie, but they’ve merged the colors so well that I can’t tell where yet. It’s somewhere between the Vero Beach airport (updated) and St Lucie Airport. (not updated) I don’t think the update extends too far to the west away from the coastline.

  18. USA: Pascagoula, MS is updated, though curiously they only used an image from about a month after the other image.

  19. USA: Albuquerque, NM and a large area west and then south following the Rio Grande south quite some distance until nearly to Alamillo.

  20. When will Google update Switzerland and Germany? The Imagery of Switzerland is dated 1997 and The German Imagery is dated 2000 and I want Imagery from 2008 or 2009.

  21. For Thailand, by far not all the areas without hires data has received the SPOT imaginary – both in the north and south it still has several areas with old lores data.

  22. Just to clarify what I said earlier about Catalonia now looking much better. I think it still looks kind of weird from afar. The colorization is far from perfect, but now at least it blends in with the rest of the country!

  23. Noel Ballantyne says:

    Add Dublin Ireland to the list

  24. Donalbain says:

    Huge Parts of Cambodia, also parts of southern Laos

  25. Leonardo Leidi says:

    When will Google put Colombia, Boyacá Department in high resolution? Specially Tunja (Capital City) and its main cities (Sogamoso and Duitama).

  26. I don’t see the new update on Google Earth or Maps? How do I get the new one?

  27. Parts of Cambodia have been updated.

  28. Australia: Perth high-res imagery from late 2008.

  29. New hi-res spot north from Warsaw in Poland and second one south-east from Warsaw.

  30. Thanks alot GE for finally updating Belgium!!!

  31. Southern part of Aral Sea, now Vozrozhdeniya Island is a peninsula.

  32. Tom Henderson says:

    There is a small update in the Dry Valleys area of Antarctica. Color balancing is off, however.

  33. BELGIUM it’s good to have complete high res coverage of the intricate landscape of this historic and under-appreciated country at last. But sensibly GE have retained the strip of even higher res 2004 coverage including Bruxelles and Antwerpen.

  34. Brazil: areas around Curitiba / Pinhais are very high res from May 2009

  35. In Ukraine with hi-res images renewed Makeevka and east part of Donetsk city, Kharkiv, Simferopol and large territories in different regions which to be easily recognized with their dark colours

  36. Tiago Carraro says:

    The city of Curitiba – South Brazil – is now fully covered in great high resolution imagery!

  37. No KML about updated places from Google this time (similar to a KML following the July imagery update)?

  38. Argentina:
    * Chaco Province: Taco Pozo, Presidencia de la Plaza, Charadai, Capitán Solari.
    * Córdoba Province: Río Segundo, Pilar

  39. New Imagery in Turkye between Manavgat and Antalya. But many Clouds

  40. Suva, Fiji has new imagery; but lots of clouds.

  41. might not be part of this update, but if you zoom into the town of Reus in Catalonia you’ll notice that the view isnt directly overhead – its at an angle – almost like a 3d isometric view.

  42. Mishelevka, Russia: BMEW radars now visible
    Baoji, China
    Part of the Sary Shagan ABM range in central Kazakhstan

  43. some new high res stripes in Ari Atoll (3°55’14.72″N, 72°44’38.58″E)and Huvadhu Atoll (0°42’58.08″N, 73°26’22.82″E) in Maldives.

  44. and the new high resolution stripe in the west ring of Ari Atoll has a weird red paint to it which makes the Islands look unreal and even the outer rim of the reefs are turned red which is never the color of it in real life.

  45. Makkah, Saudi Arabia has got another update

  46. Thanks Rauskis! Have you got anything for Turku 🙂 ?

  47. McMaster_de says:

    Lanzhou in China has an update from 6 July 2009

  48. McMaster_de says:

    Tangier in Morocco is updated to 14 July 2009

  49. New imagery in the Philippines:
    1. a tip of Northern Samar
    2. some parts of Samar/Eastern Samar
    3. Negros Occidental (this has a large overlap with existing imagery)

  50. Ernst M. Kofler says:

    The new imagery in Turkey dates from July 20, 2009. Only 13 days from taking the shot to worldwide publishing!!

  51. The KML is out! 🙂

  52. Care The Earth says:

    (letter written specially for the one who update Google Earth Imagery)
    Good day,
    For your information, there are many area was developed in Malaysia, should have many new imagery currently, but i do not found any updates on google earth, it is very much appreciated if we (the Malaysian) could see the updated imagery for the land of Malaysia in Google Earth.
    Thank You.
    a little girl who depends on Google Earth
    to see direction of location and maps in this world…sadly, i found a lot of scars on the sea surface…our earth no more a nice & smooth looking ball,its full of scars & pimply caused by the earthquake occur years ago.

  53. we hope there are imagery updates on South Pacific which includes South East Asia imagery (eg. Singapore and Malaysia.) TQ.

  54. The Map for India is outdated. Pls update the new one

  55. I am sure satellites have taken millions of pictures of the Colombian surface. We would like to see them on Google Earth, especially the part around Armenia, Quindio. Thankx!

  56. Richard Minnich says:

    The colorization of imagery along the entire Baja California peninsula is very bad,and even the historical imagery is badly compromised. Users should have the option to use previous imagery before the update.

  57. I can’t see the updates, help!!!

  58. I think Google should update its NYC imagery with the new ballparks. The current imagery date says 2004 and those ballparks weren’t even under construction back then.

  59. the names for Kosovo and its cities is written also in Cyrillic/serbian, and that is not necesarry, who should be contacted regarding this?

  60. The Map of Montevideo Uruguay Port bay is outdated. Pls update the new one

  61. Please update Galveston TX. Last year hurricane Ike destroyed many of the structures and roads on the island and drastically changed the geography of the entire Galveston Bay system. The current Google satelite images are causing lots of confusion.

  62. hello, i cant update my google earth because i am in iran. please guid me. thanks

  63. lahore, Pakistan

  64. When will satellite imagery of Switzerland be updated? Some parts of the country are recent but others are still 1996, such as much of Ticino and Glarus. It would be nice to get up-to-date.

  65. Norma Riffle says:

    When I look up my address on Google Earth, it still shows my house as it was 7 years ago. How do I update it?

  66. Cayman Island: Bodden Town has no update

  67. Ronald Elrod says:

    The zoom in/out control, along with directional controls do not appear on Google earth when I open it. If I go to street view, and then exit the photo, the angle of the map is awkward. North is not “up” so to speak, and there’s no way to fix it, unless you close the window and restart it. How do I fix this?

  68. Pierre MBALLA NDI says:

    By using Google Earth I can see my village

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.