Google has just updated the ‘Voyager’ layer to Edition 3. As soon as you open Google Earth on your desktop you will see a window featuring the story of Saroo Brierly. We have featured Saroo’s story a number of times in the past. In summary, he got on a train as a child in India and got lost. He was subsequently adopted by a Tasmanian couple. When he grew up, he managed to find his original home and family with the use of Google Earth. See the new Google Earth Tour for the full story. (NOTE: you can keep the window from appearing by turning off the “Voyager” layer before you exit Google Earth).
Saroo wrote the book ‘A Long Way Home’ about his experiences. It has since been made into the movie ‘Lion’ opening in cinemas from November 25th, 2016. The film stars Dev Patel (of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ fame), Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Nicole Kidman.
The updated Voyager layer also contains two sub layers: 3D cities and Satellite imagery updates. The 3D cities layer is not worth bothering with, as it only shows a subset of recent additions to the 3D imagery. If you want a comprehensive map then rather use our KML file.
The ‘Satellite imagery updates’ layer is certainly interesting, but again, is far from comprehensive, representing most likely only a single update, probably in late October or early November. The imagery featured is from a wide variety of dates, but mostly August to October, 2016, but it is not complete even for those months. Cape Town, for instance, has imagery from October that is not shown in the layer.
The voyager layers were first added to Google Earth in celebration of its 10th anniversary in June last year. Edition 2 was released in September of the same year and this is the first update since then. Sadly, Google has removed both previous editions.