This month saw the fifth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. In memory of the disaster, Google released fresh Street View and aerial imagery. Some was captured soon after the disaster and some much more recently. Because the older aerial imagery would not be visible in the default layer, Google pushed the fresh imagery and other imagery from around the world that had been added earlier into historical imagery. This allowed us to create imagery update maps. This in turn gave us the opportunity to look at a few interesting places in the new imagery.
This month Sri Lanka got Street View. Although the blue outlines do not show in Google Earth, the Street View is available and there is a lot to explore. We also had a look at the Batcave in Street View and some Thailand Street View captured with the Trekker.
Thanks to a tip from GEB reader Jackson, we discovered that several buildings in Lexington, Kentucky have not been rendered correctly in Google’s 3D imagery.
The posts we most enjoyed writing this month involved creating animations. The first used Landsat imagery to watch an Antarctic ice sheet as it cracks. Then we had a look at the growth of artificial islands, first in the Persian Gulf region and then the rest of the world.
Google acquired satellite imaging company Skybox back in 2014 and this month renamed it to Terra Bella. The name change is intended to indicate a change of focus from just a satellite imaging company to pioneering the search for patterns of change in the physical world.
We had a look at fairy circles in Namibia and Australia and also found similar patterns in other parts of the world. Thank you to GEB reader for linking to this Google Earth Community post on the topic. It includes a KML that shows the extent of fairy circles in Namibia.
We had a look at the cluster of earthquakes in Oklahoma caused by pumping waste water from drilling operations into deep wells. As was noted in the comments by GEB reader David Newton the vast majority of these quakes were not big enough to cause damage.
We provided a few tips and tricks for Google Earth:
* We had a look at a technique for caching Google Earth imagery using Google Earth ‘line tour’ feature.
* We created a tool for reducing the size of KML files by reducing the precision of the latitudes and longitudes.
* We showed you how to create custom icons.
* We had a look at advanced techniques for formatting the print options in Google Earth Pro.
We showed you how our code for determining whether or not a point is inside a polygon works.
We discovered Street View portals to the Moon, Mars and Atlantis.