Google Earth Blog

Whales in Google Earth

We recently came across this interesting article about counting whales using DigitalGlobe’s satellite imagery. Unfortunately the imagery in question has not made it into Google Earth. We have several times, without success, searched through satellite imagery of Hermanus, South Africa, a popular whale watching location where Southern Right Whales come to calf every year. So, we did an internet search and found remarkably few sightings. We believe this is due to a combination of factors. Google Earth does not show much satellite imagery beyond a thin strip of ocean along the coast, and when it does, the resolution is dramatically reduced. Also the resolution of most satellite imagery is barely good enough to identify whales.

Here are the only finds we know about:

Off the coast of Maui, Hawaii. Found via

Unknown species off Fraser Island, on the Eastern coast of Australia. Found via

Beluga Whales, Erwin Bay, Somerset Island, Nunavut, Canada. Found via the Google Earth Community

Southern Right Whales, Golfo Nuevo, Argentina. Found via

To find the above locations in Google Earth download this KML file.

If you know of any other whale sightings in Google Earth, please let us know in the comments.

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.

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