Google adds higher-resolution, post-earthquake Japanese imagery

In the past few weeks, Google has added a ton of new data and information related to the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan. Much of that information is summarized here for you.
UPDATE In addition to the information below, Google has also pushed out a bunch of fresh historical imagery around the Fukushima Nuclear plant that everyone has been talking about. The imagery includes almost every single day immediately following the disaster. Fly there using this KML file to see it for yourself. Be sure to turn on the “historical imagery” feature, and use the (+) magnifying glass to zoom in 2011 in slider, as seen here:


However, all of that has come in the form of add-ons to Google Earth, such as image overlays. In an effort to post data quickly, that is their best option. However, Google has now made their first major update to the base layer imagery with some brand new imagery from the area around Sendai:

The imagery was collected this past Sunday and Monday, so it was very quick work for them to get it posted already! You can visit Sendai to see it for yourself by flying there using this KML file.
Google is planning to publish more fresh imagery in the near future, and you can read more about that over on their Lat Long Blog.

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. Other areas have also been updated, most notably some large updates in Ireland. KML file is available

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