Chile is updated with new(er) imagery

[UPDATE: 7:56pm EST, 4-March: This appears to be a standard imagery update, and not just focused on Chile. Details at the bottom of the post.]
It appears that Google is doing an imagery update of some kind, but we’re not quite sure the extent of it yet. Thanks to GEB reader ‘David’ for discovering it.
If you look around parts of Chile (Talcahuano, Coronel, part of Concepcion, and Tome and then another tile around Pelluhue), you’ll find newer imagery there. The imagery is very sharp and quite new, but it’s from before the recent earthquakes. Most of it seems to be from September, 2009.


Also of interest is that the Google Maps imagery is already updated as well; we don’t have the typical delay between Earth and Maps to compare what’s new.
So what does this mean? I have two theories, but I’m open to others:
1. This is a routine imagery update that happens to include some imagery from Chile. The last update included some imagery from Chile, also from last September. Are there other places on the globe that have been updated? Let us know if you find any.
2. Google is preparing to release post-quake imagery, and they wanted to provide a more recent base layer for comparison. The imagery for much of Chile was up to five years old, so getting it caught up to 2009 is a solid improvement.
That’s what we’ve got for now. If you find any other updated imagery, please leave a comment and let us know. Thanks!
As many of you pointed out in the comments, this appears to have just been a standard imagery update. Their methods were a bit different (updating Google Maps immediately) and they’ve released the new Imagery Update KML already. It appears to be a somewhat small update, but still covers portions of many countries around the world. Check it out and see what kind of great stuff you can find!

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.


  1. USA: Charlotte, NC (Feb 15, 2009)
    Looks like it’s a real update being rolled out. We’ll just have to keep looking before we figure out how large it is.

  2. New imagery update! Many many areas of Santa Catarina state – South Brazil, were replaced! Including the cities of Itajaí, Gaspar, Navegantes and Balneario Camboriu!!

  3. There’s some screw-ups in the new tiles, too. Zoom in smoothly from outer space towards Hawaii and you’ll see these misplaced tiles between eye altitudes of 1500km to 500km. Oops!

  4. bretzel says:

    Is google thinking of publishing imagery of the regions affected by the destructive storm Xynthia in the west Coast of France (La Rochelle, the Vendée for example)? The sea walls in many parts have been completely destroyed so many lowlands are still flooded.
    It could be interesting to see the aerial.

  5. Google just updated the network link KML with the new update. And Maps was updated almost instantly too.

  6. China:
    Nanning – Guangxi Province
    Qingdao – Shandong Province

  7. Cristobal Jordan says:
    This is a imagery from Chile, showing the Titanium La Portada (tallest building), Costanera Center (yellow ring) and other buildings, after the earthquake.

  8. The Phoenix, AZ, area also has new imagery. It includes two MLB Spring Training ballparks which weren’t in the previous imagery, which is great since it is that time of year again.

  9. Google has pre/post earthquake imagery for Chile in a special KML available at:
    The tsunami-caused devastation in Dichato is pretty incredible (and sad). Check out Constitución as well for some destruction near the river.

  10. The city of Shkoder in Albania and the area around it has been updated. Thank you!

  11. It will be interesting to see if/when Google makes adjustments for the shifting of the Chilean coast. News reports claim that it moved 10 feet during the earthquake.

  12. Enrique, Pastatione says:

    Who is GeoVantage??? very good imagery. I live in one of these area, we never recieve update to maps. GE an Google an GeoVantage many thank you for helping us show the world the destruction.

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