The best of Google Earth for September 2015

As far as we are aware there have been no imagery updates in September. The most recent imagery currently available in historical imagery is dated 18th August. We have been waiting for coverage of this year’s Burning Man. We believe DigitalGlobe did capture imagery of it but it is not yet in Google Earth.

Google has continued to release 3D imagery and we apologize for being behind with our KML of 3D areas. It is notable that a significant proportion of 3D updates are updated areas rather than entirely new areas. It is time Google started providing dates with the imagery and possibly a ‘historical 3D imagery’ option.

Street View was added to Kenyan parks and the Philippines, and there were also additions in Argentina and Indonesia.

Tracking wild fires in Google Earth We had a look at the California wild fires using Landsat imagery. Thank you to GEB reader Christiaan Adams for letting us know in the comments about some false colour Digital Globe imagery available via this KML file from Google Crisis Response. Also thank you to GEB reader Robert Tissell for pointing us to other fire detection resources based on VIIRS data, including this website.

Imagery updates: what’s that imageWe had a look at a way to find recent imagery using the Google Earth plugin. We mapped out the imagery newer than July 1st, 2015 and classified it by imagery supplier. See the results with this KML file. We also had a look at some interesting sights we found in the imagery while classifying it. Thank you to GEB reader Raul for providing some interesting information in the comments about the demolished houses we found.

Moldova stands out in Google EarthWe noticed that the country of Moldova has different overview imagery from the rest of the globe. Thank you to GEB reader ‘S. H.’ for letting us know that the change was made circa August 19th, 2015. We still do not know why the change was made.

Geocoding with Google Earth Pro ImportWe experimented with using Google Earth Pro’s bulk geocoding feature for geocoding regions such as suburbs, cities and countries. Although it is clearly a useful feature and is fairly easy to use, there is room for improvement. A feature we would really like to see is a geocoder that can return the outline of an area rather than a simple placemark. If any of our readers knows of any such geocoding service, please let us know.

Surface deformation after Chile earthquakeWe had a look at an image released by the European Space Agency showing the surface deformation from the Chile Earthquake.

Google Maps API Maximum Zoom – Part 1: Data collection We have just started a series of posts (Part 1: Data Collection, Part 2: Overview ), having a look at the data we can get from the Google Maps API Maximum Zoom Imagery Service. We will continue to look at the data in October.

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. ben reuter says:

    It’s a shame that google reacts so slowly.
    Recent events like the roll out of the worlds longest submarine in Severodvinsk or the recent build up of russian forces at Latakia/Syria are totally ignored by google….

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