The best of Google Earth for December 2015

The most recent image to be found in historical imagery is currently dated November 30th, 2015. However, Google does seem to have been doing some imagery updates during the month of December, as we recently received two notifications from the ‘follow your world’ app for updates of Livingstone, Zambia, and Cape Town, South Africa, although the images added were from October.

Flash floods in North KoreaWe had a look at the after-effects of flash floods in North Korea that happened in August. We also looked at satellite imagery from other sources, including satellite imagery of the recent floods in southern India provided by Google Crisis Response, and the track of a tornado in Mississippi using Landsat imagery.

Uruguay gets Street ViewStreet View came to Uruguay this month, and you can find a summary of all Street View progress for 2015 here.

3D imagery continued to be released quite regularly in December, although Google appears to have taken a break for Christmas. It is notable that a significant proportion of 3D releases are updates of areas that already had coverage. To see which areas have 3D coverage download our map.

Google Earth Blog Santa TrackerThe Google Earth API (also known as the Google Earth plugin) was deprecated in December last year and was expected to be shut down this December. However, Google decided to give it a temporary reprieve and let us know that it would not be shut down immediately and would continue to operate at least until the end of the year. No specific date has been given for the shut down. To celebrate we decided to resurrect the Google Earth version of the Santa Tracker. All you will see now is a tour of Santa’s village, but you can get an idea of what it was like from a YouTube introduction Frank did in this post.

PEACE on Earth message using GPSGPS artist Yassan wrote the word ‘Peace’ across the earth by travelling around the world and recording his track. We created a similar message for Christmas but decided to cheat and do it from the comfort of an arm chair with the help of Google directions.

New Google Earth Flight Simulator Tips and Video 2015Frank updated his Google Earth flight simulator tutorial. If you haven’t tried the Google Earth flight simulator, or have struggled to use it, then be sure to check out his video, as it explains a number of important tips for the flight simulator that are necessary to get the most out of it.

Animal shaped buildings in Google EarthWe did some sightseeing, including looking at animal shaped buildings, toys in Google Earth, Star Wars related locations and some ghost cities. If you are interested in ghost cities then be sure to check the comments of that post for some other interesting locations submitted by readers.

Google Maps in Google EarthWe created several tools this month, including a way to find imagery captured on a specific date using the Google Earth API and a way to show Google Maps in a placemark. We also showcased OpenForis as an example of an application that works with Google Earth without being dependant on the Google Earth API.

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.

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