Google Earth Imagery Update – Plane Crash, Derailed Train, Fireworks Explosion and World Series

Google has recently done an imagery update. Here are a few sights we have found so far.

Plane crash in Kyrgyzstan
On January 16, 2017, a Turkish cargo plane, Turkish Airlines Flight 6491, crashed into a residential area just short of the runway of Manas International Airport, Kyrgyzstan. All four crew members and 35 people on the ground were killed in the crash. Read more about it here and on Wikipedia.

The aircraft was travelling from left to right in the above image.

Zooming out a bit we can see how close it was to getting to the runway.

Derailed train in Cameroon
On October 21st, 2016, a passenger train derailed in Es├ęka, Cameroon, killing at least 79 people and injuring 550. The DigitalGlobe image was captured ten days later so some cleanup has already been done, but we can see where the accident happened and some of the carriages by the side of the track. There are more carriages next to the station which may have already been transported there from the accident site. Read more about it here and on Wikipedia.

Fireworks explosion in Mexico
On December 20th, 2016, a fireworks explosion occurred at the San Pablito Market in the city of Tultepec, Mexico, killing at least 36 and injuring 84. The imagery is from January 4th, and the area has been cleaned up. See a video here and read about it on Wikipedia


Before and after of the San Pablito Market.

World Series parade, Chicago
The Chicago Cubs, a Major League Baseball club, won the 2016 World Series after a 108-year drought. To celebrate they held a parade on November 4th, 2016, which was attended by an estimated 5 million people. DigitalGlobe captured an image showing the crowds in Grant Park, the final destination of the parade.

To find the above locations 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.


  1. Katie Andrews says:

    Hi Timothy, I understand gearthblog announces image updates around the 6th and 20th of each month; and with those blog updates, a KML file is included that depicts the envelopes of the update areas. Are these update KMLs available via an API? Thanks.

    • Timothy Whitehead says:

      We used to create update maps as and when Google updated the imagery (which wasn’t really on a clear schedule). However, our technique used the Google Earth plugin/API which was discontinued in January, 2017 so it is no longer possible.

  2. Windsday says:

    Since Google hasn’t touched the computer market since their Google library project that failed miserably I wonder how long it will be before their stuff they abandoned like *newspaper archives* fall into abandonware?

    Or if it can’t be legally into abandonware I wonder how long before it’s a *grey* area where someone else can try to finish it?

    There actually is a huge definition of a *grey* zone when it comes to that kind of stuff sort of a limbo state though mostly it applies to emulation and roms/ISO’s.

  3. Katie Andrews says:

    Thanks Timothy – so, does that mean you’re no longer unable to post update.kmls? I see one for Feb 2017 so I’m hoping you’re able to keep posting them. Please lmk, thanks.

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