Tracking down Star Wars in Google Earth

Roughly 35 years ago, the original Star Wars movie was filmed in a variety of locations around world.  The opening of the first movie features Luke complaining about having to work at his uncle’s moisture farm, and was shot in the country of Tunisia.  The sets have been left virtually untouched for all this time, and New York-based photographer Ra di Martino recently traveled out there to photograph them.


So how did she find the area?  Google Earth.  From Co. Design:

A few years ago, when Di Martino was working on a project on the Chott El Jerid, a salt lake in Tunisia, she was scanning the site on Google Earth. “I saw a tourist photo on Google Earth of a ruin used for the Star Wars films that was attached to the location.” She tracked the structure to somewhere near Tozeur, an oasis city in the country’s central region close to the Algerian border.

While that article doesn’t supply the locations she discovered (only the photos and story), Star Wars Locations can help us with that.  They offer a page dedicated to Google Earth that includes a comprehensive KML file that shows the various locations around the world that were used in the movie.

You can read more about Di Martino’s adventure on the Co. Design 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. Thanks for sharing this, Mickey. I’ve been putting something like this together in StrataLogica. This will help me double check my work. 😉

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