Google Earth 3D imagery progress

Yesterday we looked at Google’s progress in imagery updates. Today we will look at the progress Google has been making in rolling out 3D areas in Google Earth. Back in September we worked out the area covered with 3D using the KML file we had released the week before. At that time, Google Earth had approximately 207 thousand square kilometers of 3D. Now, a mere 4 months later, there are 260 thousand square kilometres covered – an increase of just over 25%.

We don’t always know the age of the source imagery for the 3D, as Google does not indicate the date it was captured, like they do for other imagery. However, for some locations it is possible to identify the age of the imagery, such as Black Rock City the location of the Burning Man festival that was released in 3D recently. It turned out that the imagery was from the 2013 event, implying that it took Google over a year to process and release the imagery.

Thank you to all the GEB readers who have contributed by finding new 3D areas and letting us know in the comments. A very special thank you to GEB reader Anton Rudolfsson who has been assisting us by drawing the outlines of the newly discovered 3D areas in Google Earth. In late November Google released their own map of 3D areas, but since they only show placemarks and not the perimeters of the areas, we will continue to maintain our KML.

Marco Polo
The cruise ship Marco Polo docked in Tromsø, Norway. Tromsø was recently added and is currently the northernmost 3D area in Google Earth.

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.


  1. This is my “to do list” for Google Maps/Earth 3d mesh crew before any other cities:
    Barcelona, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, Warsaw, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Monaco, Turin, Venice, Vaduz, Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Athens, Sofia, Ljubljana, Zagreb other capital cities and Washington DC (if collecting aerial photos is permitted by law in this area)

  2. excellent

  3. Toronto is now entirely in 3D.

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