Google Earth imagery suppliers

Yesterday we had a look at a way to find recent imagery in Google Earth. We thought it would be interesting to do a survey of the imagery we found and see where Google gets its imagery from. To find the supplier for a given image you simply have to centre the view over the image and zoom in and the supplier is noted in the copyright notice at the bottom centre of the screen. It is helpful to turn off all layers, so the you don’t get copyright notices for other mapping data included.

So, once we outlined all the imagery we had found, we sorted it by supplier and colour coded it for your enjoyment. Sadly, there was no way to easily automate the process, so it is not something we will likely do on a regular basis. Also keep in mind that, given the vast number of areas, we may have made a few mistakes.

We have not yet finished the whole globe (most of Asia is still to be done) so we have implimented it as a network link which you can grab here. We expect to be finished in a couple of days to try refreshing it then for the full picture.

As can be seen from the results, Google’s main imagery providers are DigitalGlobe and CNES/Astrium. However, in the US, Europe and Japan there are areas of aerial imagery collected by Google itself – so there is no on-screen copyright notice at all.

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. As a GPS instructor, I use the google earth soft a lot to stay the course.
    thanks to Timothy….

  2. ‘Collected by Google itself’… well Google doesn’t have airplanes (no?) so they must have purchased it from some agency…

    • Well, yes, they do acquire imagery from other sources and probably don’t have to note those sources in GE. They did recently purchase Skybox though, so they could be making their own imagery now.

    • Timothy Whitehead says

      It is likely that they do contract out such work. Nevertheless, if Google initiates the gathering of the imagery and owns the resulting imagery then I consider that Google collecting the imagery. The imagery used to create 3D is presumably gathered via a similar process and in some cases both 3D and 2D aerial imagery is gathered at the same time.

  3. Pratap Sonayala says

    It was a nice to see all the source provided in the form of KML, previously you have share a similar kml with years, can both the merged.

    I would like to know more about the image update pattern can you refer me any link to refer..

    Thanks in advance.



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.