New updates to the historical imagery

A sharp-eyed reader (‘Sladys’) has pointed out that more historical imagery has been added to Google Earth. In particular, it seems that a lot of imagery from 1943 has been added to Germany, France and Italy.

Hamburg 1943

Some of the specific cites found with updates so far include:
Germany: Hamburg, Augsburg, Nuremberg, Freiburg, Koblenz Dortmund, Lübeck, Kiel, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden, Mainz, Frankfurt/Main, Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Bamberg, Regensburg, Göttingen, Kehl, Magdeburg, Dessau, Leipzig, Dresden and more of Berlin.
France: Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Lyon.
Italy: Torino, Florence, Naples, Bologna, Rome.
Fresh historical can be difficult to find, as there’s no good technique for searching out the new additions. You simply need to be familiar with the available imagery for a particular reason and recognize when new imagery becomes available.
Assuming this imagery is indeed fresh (which it seems to be, but we can’t prove), Google will likely put out a blog post about it like they did for the new Berlin imagery back in November of last year. [UPDATE 4-Feb: Google has now posted about this imagery in two new blog entries: WWII historical imagery and Spotlight on Warsaw.]
To view any of the historical imagery in Google Earth, you can view this short guide that Frank created when the feature first arrived.
If you come across any other historical imagery that you think was recently added to Google Earth, leave a comment and let us know.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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. There is also new historical imagery in Poland. Warsaw where we get 1945 and 1935 and can compare destruction of city during the war. And there is Wrocław with 1945 imagery.
    It’s easy to find the old historical imagery (like 1900-1990) because there is not much of it.
    My technique to find it is – turn off all layers, zoom out to see one country at a time, turn on the historical imagery and check whether there is any pre-1990 option. When we do it in Poland it is easy to see gray spots on dark background.

  2. Add Brest France; Wroclaw (1943) & Warsaw (1935 and 1945) Poland; and Trieste Italy (1943)

  3. Poland: Warsaw, Wroclaw, Gdansk

  4. Warsaw 1935 and 1945 🙂

  5. Warsaw 1935 and destroyed 10 years later…

  6. Check out Warsaw, 1935 and 1945.

  7. True about the other found cities. I have ben looking for these historical images and haven’t seen them before this update.
    About the image of Hambutg. It says Dec. 1943 but it can’t be, because all looks OK. It must be from before July 24. 1943 when the Allied bombing began, the Operation Gomorrah, that lasted 8 days in 24 hours campaigns.
    The map must be of the RAF, the harbor areas are written which were main targets in the campaign. Only the new docks are written in English, other areas in German.

  8. Downtown San Francisco July, 1946
    Wahington, DC March 1949
    South of Lake Tahoe, CA December 1940

  9. Bordeaux, FR December 1943

  10. Bordeaux, France Dec 1943
    Rome, Italy Dec 1943

  11. The large empty area in Warsaw is the remains og the Jewish
    Ghetto that the Nazis destroyed after all Jews were sent to the extermination camps.

  12. Erik Tjernlund says

    I think USAAF needed great aerial photos before firebombing Hamburg and Dresden (and killed 100 000’s of German civilians). Don’t be evil?

  13. Venice, too (1943)

  14. margin-auto says

    Great imagery. But it would need a bit more stretching. Hamburg Altona has an offset of some hundred meters.

  15. This new imagery is welcome, and the ‘official’ post on the lat-long blog confirms previous comments and observations by GEB readers.
    But the new imagery is relatively low resolution when you consider that aerial reconnaissance images were used to detect things like the V2 rocket development site and to check damage to railway lines. Does any GEB reader know whether higher res WWII imagery is available on a widespread basis?

  16. Google makes discovering Europe very interesting, did they include any pictures of Britain or was it off the map
    By the end of May 1941, over 43,000 civilians, half of them in London, had been killed by German bombing and more than a million houses were destroyed or damaged in London alone (think how much as a proportion of the homes in London that was).
    London was not the only city to suffer German Luftwaffe bombing during the Blitz- Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Clydebank, Coventry, Exeter, Greenock, Sheffield, Swansea, Liverpool, Hull, Manchester, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Nottingham, Brighton, Eastbourne, Sunderland and Southampton, suffered heavy air raids and high numbers of casualties.

  17. Hi Frank – just thought I would share a simple way to navigate around the European historical imagery that worked for me.
    1) Find a known example of hist. imagery say Naples or Berlin.
    2) Move the time slider to the earliest date.
    3) Zoom out and the slider remains on that time.
    4) You will see spotted across the continent the old images contrasted as they are black and white.
    5) Each one is easy to spot and zoom into.
    Worked for me and I found it easy to find imagery from the same time as on the slider. Hope this helps.

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.