3D imagery slow down?

As our regular readers know we maintain a map of areas that have Google’s 3D imagery. We not only track current coverage but also have a timeline. Google has been adding to the area covered with 3D at a fairly consistent rate for the last two to three years. Increasingly, however, the 3D imagery additions are updates to previously existing areas rather than new coverage. These are much harder to track, so we do not know just how much has been updated in this manner. Over the past month or so almost every update has been an update to a previously existing area with only minor extensions and occasionally deletions (which we largely do not bother to track).


3D area covered in square kilometres.

So is this the new normal? Google has covered most of the major population centres in the regions where they are most active (the USA and Europe). Other parts of the world still have a few major cities outstanding (Cape Town, South Africa for example). Collecting and processing 3D imagery must be quite an expensive exercise, so it is unlikely Google will aim to cover all the areas in between cities even for the USA. It is a pity they haven’t yet got a way of showing the dates the imagery was collected and there is no ‘historical 3D imagery’ option, so frequent updates would be rather a waste unless they are significantly improving the quality with each refresh.

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. Dizzyland says:

    Back when it was new the purpose was to replace the old style *Rand McNally Road Maps* but I think they got in way over their head and have backed down.

    Google is no longer a few guys in a garage and are ran by big bankers with banker like attitudes.

    Look at the movie John Doe and you’ll see what I mean and find it’s not a new problem but more people are becoming aware we have been hijacked as a result of the final frontier the *web* which they want and in some cases censor.

    Ever wondered where your comment went on that news article? Chances are it was pulled by a live mod because it contained a keyword that they didn’t like. It could be the word *Christ*. It could be the word *Terrorist* not in a bad context but a keyword is a keyword.

    I’ve had comments on moderation and where I say “Test” the comment goes thru just fine to prove my and others who believe the same censorship is going on.

    • Timothy Whitehead says:

      On this site, we get a lot of spam (people trying to advertise stuff). We have an automatic system that removes spam. The system also checks for bad language. If the system is not sure if a comment is spam, or if the comment includes bad language then it needs to be approved before it goes live. I normally approve anything that isn’t obviously spam but it can take me a day or two.

  2. Dizzyland says:

    Why is my top comment on censorship?



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.