Two stages of construction in Google Earth 3D imagery

Thank you to GEB reader Jacob for bringing to our attention an interesting effect in Google Earth’s 3D imagery. In Kingston, Ontario, Canada, there is a building in the 3D imagery that seems to be a combination of imagery from when it was still under construction and imagery from after its completion. The result is quite interesting and worth exploring in Google Earth. Find it in Google Earth with this KML file. Be sure to turn on the 3D buildings layer.

The 3D imagery was only recently added to Google Earth (first reported by GEB readers on January 3rd, 2017) but, based on historical imagery the building was constructed between May 2014, when there is no building visible, and September 2015 when it is mostly finished. So at least some of the imagery used to create the 3D is several years old.

We have previously noted a case where a building could be seen in different stages of construction depending on zoom level and an instance where whole buildings were missing from the 3D 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. We want Google Earth in our Android phone

  2. It has happened again: there is an entire suburb north-west of Brampton, Ontario that only shows the south-east walls of the houses and the rest is under construction. It can be viewed at 43°45’42.89″N 79°49’29.25″W.

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