Google updating 3D areas

In December last year, Google updated the 3D imagery in New York and San Francisco with newer, better quality imagery.

Since then Google has updated a number of other cities. Thank you to GEB reader Ryan for letting us know about Louisville (KY) and Munich (Germany). We don’t always notice the update, especially if, as in the case of Munich, the update is completely contained within the area covered by the older imagery. Other times, it is more obvious, such as Buffalo (NY) and Pittsburg (PA), where the new imagery extended beyond the old boundary.

We generally haven’t bothered keeping track of these changes in our 3D imagery KML, as it would often be difficult to identify the borders of the new imagery or know when it was added, and Google does not put dates on the 3D imagery. However, we did try tracing out the border of the Munich imagery so that you can see the extent of the update and compare it with the older imagery. To see the outline in Google Earth download the KML file here.

Google usually leaves an overlap between new and old imagery, and a curious effect of this is that sometimes different imagery can be seen, depending on the viewing altitude. So for example, in Louisville (KY) because the imagery was taken at different times of year, once when the trees were bare and once when they had all their leaves, the difference is quite striking. See the location in Google Earth using this KML.

comparison
The newer imagery tends to be characterized by richer colours, as can be seen in this border between the two, with older imagery to the left and newer imagery on the right.

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. Andy - Sheffield UK says

    Zoom into the Louisville 3D and it uses newer and more detailed images (lighter green trees) as it loads, zoom out and it uses older less detailed ones (darker green)

  2. On 17 February I made the following comment on the 16 February post ‘What next GE’: ” … new 2D imagery accompanied the very recent release of 3D imagery for Portsmouth UK, although older imagery is the default if ‘photorealistic buildings’ is not enabled …” so we have another “curious effect”. There are, however, no changes with viewing altitude in this case.

  3. Other areas I’ve noticed with 3D Updates are Corvallis, Oregon, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas and Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

    • it would be more important to inform us about new updates of the satellite images. Since Dec 17th 2014 this service is missing!

  4. Your KML file needs to be updated, New 3d areas have been added!



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.