Misplaced satellite image in Google Earth

We have in the past talked about how the mapping data in Google Earth is not always completely accurate as well as how Google puts a lot of effort into improving and correcting the data.

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 image
Misplaced satellite image in Google Earth.

Correct image
When zoomed out a little, a correct image can be seen.

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.






PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.

Comments

  1. One of my friends has instantly identified this misplaced square: it is Actually it is around this point but the satellite image is from a different time:
    42°16’50.02″ N 43°16’8.78″ E

  2. Google have been having difficulties over the last decade with the imagery of the vast Garzweiler opencast brown coal/lignite mine some 15 km SSE of Monchengladbach in Germany. Historical imagery from 2000 looks correct, but subsequently a collage of mismatching imagery has failed to keep pace with the relentless progress of the excavations, and one 3 x 2 km patch on the west side in the current imagery looks completely misplaced.

  3. I just want to know when my location of Proserpine, Queensland, Australia (-20.406127, 148.584795) will get new satellite images taken using Google’s new satellite. The images for my location are always of inferior quality compared to other locations i.e. on close zoom the image is blurred and the pictures always look washed out or some other funny color that isn’t even close to what the true color of the landscape is.



PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.