Map of Buried City Altinum – See it in Google Earth

Late last week I read about a scientific paper scheduled for publication which documented the findings of research on the ancient city of Altinum in Italy (near Venice). The city used to be a thriving Roman City until it was sacked multiple times because of its exposed location. The remains of Altinum have been buried in some fields north of the Venice airport. Rather than try to dig up the site, scientists jhave used satellite and aerial photography to map the locations of the buildings and roads of the city.

Altinum and map overlays in Google Earth

Since a brief description of the location and an aerial photo was published, I immediately went searching for the site in Google Earth. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it right away, so I did a quick search and found the location had been shared at the GEC by ‘jean_thie’, and an overlay of the map was made available in the post.
Stefan Geens of has published an excellent GE overview of the Altinum findings and includes great tips on using Google Earth (and the historical imagery mode) to delve even further into this interesting archaeological site. Stefan also found more of the researchers material and has overlayed several of their maps in this KML file . I highly recommend reading Stefan’s post.

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. Interesting stuff. Archaeologists have long used aerial photography to locate sites. It’s amazing how much vegetation is affected by what’s underneath it. It’s also interesting to note that this technique depends upon a variety of factors, and this KML is a good illustration of it. In the current imagery, the site features in the southern field show up well, but those in the northern field show up hardly at all. If you look at the older imagery (2006), the opposite is the case. Guess this proves the value of the ability to compare imagery over time.

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