Imagery updates: what’s that image

On Monday we showed you a way to find all the satellite imagery from a given date range; in our case we looked for imagery taken since July 1st, 2015. Yesterday we had a look at who supplies the imagery to Google via a more manual process of outlining all the imagery and then identifying the source.

Today we are looking at interesting sights we came across when going through all the imagery.

We came across an image taken on July 22nd, 2015 on the border of Paraguay and Argentina. The flooding appears to have affected both Asunción, the capital city of Paraguay, and Clorinda, a town just over the border in Argentina.

Flooding in Asunción, Paraguay and Clorinda, Argentina.

There is also a black and white image which shows flooding in Campinas, Brazil, but it looks like an area that probably has seasonally high water and the flooding may not be abnormal.

Near Sorocaba, Brazil, we came across some newly demolished houses. Going back through historical imagery, it looks like an area was demarcated for new development at the end of 2014, a number of houses were built on it during 2015, then some time just before the latest image was captured, they were all demolished again. If any of our readers knows why, please let us know in the comments.

There is a false colour image of Rufaa, Sudan, which makes the river, orange, dark red and pale blue in different sections of it. We have noticed that there is a lot of false colour imagery in the Sahara and other deserts. It may be that it is difficult to get true colour imagery as the sand is too bright.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo we came across some interesting patterns that look like small scale diamond mining. And sure enough, the nearby town of Mbuji-Mayi has been called the diamond capital of the DRC.

In Denmark, we can see what we believe is the Roskilde Festival, one of the largest music festivals in Europe. The shape of the image (a diamond) suggests that the image was captured specifically for the festival. Another ‘special event’ image is an image of Calgary, Canada that was captured at the time of the Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival. However, the image is low quality black and white, so there is not much to see, although “Calgary Stampede” can be seen written on the roof of one of the buildings.

Roskilde Festival, Denmark.

On the Yangtze River, China, we can see a large number of barges apparently pumping sand to fill in the river bank.

Also in China we came across Shanghuzhen, just north of Shanghai, that at first looks flooded, as there is water everywhere. But on closer inspection we believe it is just naturally a very wet place.

To find the locations mentioned in this post and a few more places of interest in Google Earth download this KML file.

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.


  1. Timothy,

    Brazilian reader of your blog here. My English probably isn’t that good. I’m sorry for possible spelling and grammar errors in advance.

    The demolished houses are located in the city of Iperó, near Sorocaba. There was 300 families living in those houses. The families started to occupy it around August/2014, after the owner of the land gave authorization. Even with the authorization, the municipal government thought the occupation was breaking regulations, ordering repossession through civil action. The Military Police proceeded then to expel those families from their houses and the buildings were bulldozed.

    These are some articles in Portuguese about it:

    I was caught by surprise by this. I haven’t heard about this situation until now. It was a little bit difficult to find about it. The big news outlets didn’t really covered it that much.

    Repossession of land with forced evictions is a common situation here in Brazil. We have 10 million people living below the poverty line and the population of homeless people is around 30 million. The most famous incident involving this was during the year 2012, in the Pinheirinhos community at city of São José dos Campos. In that occasion, 6.000 people were expelled and there was confrontation with the police leaving dozens injured. There are political movements opposing forced evictions, like the brazilian Homeless Workers Movement, and they are growing very fast today.

    I hope I helped providing enough information about the image.

    Keep the good work with the blog! 😉


  2. I’ve asked this question on the Google Forum, and nobody’s answered. Maybe you know something about it? Some transient images that suggest a new level of 3D imagery in which you can go into an autogenerated building and see a synthetic ceiling and walls, complete with sci-fi-like furnishings. Unfortunately, it usually lasts only a few seconds, and it doesn’t have a floor.

    I’ve seen it in some of the utility buildings along the Raisin River on the east coast of Michigan. Do you know about this? And have you seen it anywhere else?

  3. …in Brazil…don’t let the authorities have access to remote drones…

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.