How often is Google Earth imagery updated: Europe

We recently had a look at the frequency of imagery updates for the continental US. Today we are doing a similar analysis for Europe.

As with the US, Europe has a lot of aerial imagery gathered by the various countries or local companies and later obtained by Google. Also, as with the US, Google has been gathering its own aerial imagery in recent years. In general, most Western European countries have good aerial imagery coverage with the exception of Ireland and the northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland. Meanwhile most Eastern European countries have only satellite imagery. This does tend to result in Eastern Europe seeing more regular updates, although it is lower quality imagery.

Keep in mind that actual imagery is smaller than the areas shown and the maps show large sections in the sea that are due to a bug in the way the Google Earth API reports imagery.


The are no clearly discernible patterns in the yearly data and we estimate complete coverage to be taking about five to seven years, which is generally poorer than the US, which is every three years. The UK is an exception, with noticeably poorer coverage in recent years.

2016 has seen very few updates in Western Europe, but we believe that is because of the seasonality of aerial imagery. We can probably expect to see significant additions in the coming months as aerial imagery gathered in the summer starts to be added. Eastern Europe’s satellite imagery is processed faster and is less restricted to the summer months.

To see the data 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.

Comments

  1. Grerg Moore says

    some of ireland has never been updated



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.