Released as part of Google Earth 5.0, Historical Imagery is an amazing feature. As I mentioned a few days ago with the Britain from Above story, Historical Imagery is certainly one of the best new features added to Google Earth in the past few years. If you’re not familiar with it, here is a quick video to show you how it works:
One interesting aspect of historical imagery is that it’s not always old — sometimes the “historical” imagery for a particular location might be newer than the base imagery. The key is that the imagery for the base layer of Google Earth is always what they consider to be the best imagery for that location. Freshness certainly plays into that, but so does lighting, cloud cover, etc. Quite often, Google will capture new imagery for a location but decide it isn’t good enough for the base layer and will put it in the Historical Imagery layer instead.
If you’re looking for some fun ways to use Historical Imagery, here are eight things you can do with it. We’re also wondering if Historical Imagery might be coming to Street View at some point. Google hasn’t said anything about that, but some places have been captured on Street View multiple times and having a way to show that off would be pretty cool.
What is your favorite use of Historical Imagery in Google Earth?
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.