Increasingly high-resolution imagery in Antarctica

As Google has continually improved the quality of their imagery across the globe, one area always seemed to stay low-res — Antarctica. Thanks to the help of the Polar Geospatial Center (PCG), that’s beginning to change.
A great example of that is the Mackay Glacier Tongue, located in Granite Harbor, seen here:


You can see it for yourself, as shown in the article, using this KML file.
So far, the PGC has helped Google update nearly 1,000,000 square kilometers, with another 275,000 square kilometers added every three months. While it will take a while to get the entire continent updated (more than 14,000,000 sq km), they’re certainly making great progress.
Along with updating the quality of the imagery, they’re also working to improve the accuracy of the location of the imagery. The PGC’s Paul Morin will be heading down to the Antarctic Peninsula soon to help improve the imagery from being off by as much as 30 meters to being accurate within a single meter.
The full article at The Antarctic Sun is quite interesting and well worth your time to read. We all enjoy the constantly improving imagery quality in Google Earth, and the PGC is just one of many companies working with Google to help move things forward.
(via @OgleEarth)

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. the Pole regions still look so ugly:(

  2. The Antartica terrain data has been increasing in resolution as well. Which leads to some interesting views when glaciers are below sea level, with ‘water surface’ they become rivers you can fly into.
    Look around 65.2964S 62.1006W on the Antartica Peninsula.

  3. If I have Google Earth go to latitude -90 and any longitude, I should end up at the South Pole, right? Why, then, don’t I see any of the structures at the South Pole when I do that? There is a permanent base there.

  4. Matthew Miller says:

    Glad to hear the updates are coming, but what is with all of the censored areas in Antartica? It’s obvious that these are not just low resolution images, but censored zones. They’re mostly near the coast but there are huge areas inland too.

  5. this site is a catcher.

  6. Its 2016 where I am here and with the same 3 million square miles censored as google earth your article seems VeRy ridiculous. Go to the middle of the pole – expand in a “circle” until the radius is one thousand MILES and the whole area has miserable – TERRIBLE resolution.

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