Google Earth Imagery Update mid-January 2016

Google Earth has received an imagery update recently, with the new imagery showing up in ‘historical imagery’ in the last couple of days. Until recently the most recent image was from November 30th, 2015, and now the most recent image is from January 11th, 2016.

Since the Google Earth API is still working, we can make a map of the approximate location of all imagery from December 2015 and January 2016. There is also newly added imagery dated before that, but we cannot so easily identify it.

Approximate location of imagery dated December 2015 to January 2016.

You can also view the approximate locations in Google Earth with this KML file. The actual imagery is usually quite a bit smaller than the displayed outline in the KML, so you need to switch between dates to find it. The easiest way to do this is with the imagery switcher tour from this post. Just download the KML file from that post and enter the dates ‘2015-12-01’ and ‘2016-01-31’ in the settings then click ‘update’ and move your view a little bit. You should then see a tour appear just below the settings icon in the ‘Places’ panel. Move the view to a location where the outlines show new imagery exists and run the tour. Set it to auto-repeat and you should easily pick out the new images.

One of the locations that has received new imagery is Sana’a in Yemen. We looked at bomb damage at the Sana’a airport back in May 2015. However the war is on-going and more damage can be seen in more recent images, including one from August 15th, 2015 and one from December 30th, 2015, with progressively more damage in each image.

White: older imagery, mostly circa May 2015. Blue: August 15th, 2015 imagery. Red: December 30th, 2015 imagery.

An example of one of the more recently destroyed buildings.

To see the above locations in Google Earth download this KML file.

Please let us know in the comments if you find anything else of interest in the new imagery.

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. From 11th January in Ukraine have imagery Kharkiv, Vasylkiv.

  2. Also added 3D for the Quebec City area.

  3. ben reuter says:

    Ara Bay submarine base 69.383433° 32.792219° (hidden in the history layer 8/23/2015) – thanks google – was waiting years for that

  4. best imager

  5. Harsha Jade Puttaswamy says:

    When does Google Earth upload 2015 imagery for Bhima Lift Irrigation Scheme, near Kalaburagi District in Karnataka State, South India….waiting for one year…!

  6. Ousmane says:

    i have been trying to see the recent google image of SENEGAL particularly KOUMPENTOUM

  7. I want to update

  8. Why there is no new images from Afghanistan, The images that we are loading and working with GOOGLE EARTH are very old and we need to download newere images from other program and load them as KML file on GOOGLE EARTH. Please answer this question. Thank you very much.

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