In Google Earth, satellite imagery is not always perfectly aligned, which is to be expected, given the complexity of fitting an image that is typically taken at an oblique angle to the earth’s varied terrain. Despite that, in most cases the imagery is remarkably well aligned and can be used to correct mapping data from other sources that is often considerably less accurate. Google has continuously improved their systems to increase the accuracy of imagery placement.
We have recently come across what appears to be a satellite image that is entirely misplaced. GEB reader Horváth inquired about the satellite imagery not matching the street map in Kutaisi, Georgia. We had a look and it is clear that as of this writing, there is a misplaced satellite image for the region. There is correct imagery in ‘historical imagery’, but the default image in Google Earth and Google Maps is incorrect. To see the location for yourself in Google Earth download this KML file. We were unable to identify where the image is from.
Misplaced satellite image in Google Earth.
When zoomed out a little, a correct image can be seen.