The best of Google Earth for August 2015

Google has not released any ‘satellite imagery update maps’ since the introduction of the ‘Voyager layer’ at the end of June. Google has, however, been pushing out satellite imagery and there are images captured in August in Google Earth, but without the ‘imagery update’ maps, it can be hard to find.

Google took an unusual two week break from releasing 3D imagery in the first half of August, but has been releasing more since then. We are a little behind on updating our KML, but we haven’t forgotten it, so bear with us. We have added quite a lot of areas today so be sure to refresh the network link if you are not seeing up to August 22nd. As always, a big thank you to GEB reader Anton Rudolfsson who draws the outlines.

Heatmap1We have been using the Google Earth plugin to try and map out the density of historical imagery in Google Earth Part 1, part 2, part 3. In the process, we learned how Google Earth handles KML polygons that cross the antimeridian.


MyReadingMappedGeorge of MyReadingMapped was kind enough to share his enormous collection of KMLs. If you haven’t seen them yet be sure to check them out.



WorldPowerAnalytics2We looked at two power related maps, one dealing with world power and the other dealing with coal power. Both take advantage of 3D features in Google Earth to enhance the maps.




GCJ-02_larger_arrowsWe discovered that Chinese maps have an offset relative to the rest of the world. We had a look at which direction they are offset and provided a basic JavaScript converter to convert KML from the WGS-84 datum (what most of the world uses) to the GCJ-02 datum (what China uses).

8PVCQ9VH+4CGoogle has made Open Location Codes, aka Plus Codes, searchable on the web and in Google Maps. However, they do not yet work in Google Earth search, so we created a small JavaScript converter to convert Plus Codes to KML.


MapsInGoogleEarth1GEB reader Chris pointed us to an issue with the blue Street View layer, so we investigated further and found issues with it showing different areas at different zoom levels. For comparison, we also created an image overlay of the Google Maps version of the blue layer.

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.



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.