Last week Google updated the historical imagery in Google Earth. It was a somewhat disappointing update for a number of reasons:
- Due to the demise of the Google Earth API/plugin, we no longer have a way to find all recent imagery.
- Tropical Cyclone Enawo, caused major flooding in Madagascar in March, 2017, and DigitalGlobe released stunning imagery of the event via their open data program. Given that the imagery was released to the public domain, we are a bit disappointed that it doesn’t seem to have made it into Google Earth. DigitalGlobe provides the imagery for download but it consists of very large files that are not easy to explore.
- A flooding event in Lima, Peru was just missed, with imagery being added that is from just a few days before the event.
- There is some imagery of flooding in the Philippines, but because there are two images captured on the same day, one of them, which we believe may be the better quality one, cannot be viewed in its entirety because of a flaw in Google Earth’s ‘historical imagery’ that we have noted before. We hope Google implements a solution to this when they add historical imagery to the new browser based Google Earth.
Plane crash in Pakistan.
On 7th December, 2016, Pakistan International Airlines Flight 661 crashed into a mountainside killing all 47 people on board. We can just make out the wreckage of the plane and we can also see the blackened mountainside due to a wildfire started by the crash. Read more about it on Wikipedia and see some images here.
Koshe Landfill landslide – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
On March 11th, 2017, there was a landslide at the Koshe Landfill site in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, burying some nearby makeshift houses in rubbish and killing 113 people. Read more on Wikipedia and the Landslide Blog. There is a DigitalGlobe image captured on the day of the disaster, but we are not sure whether it was captured before or after the event. Below is a ‘before and after’ of the location and we couldn’t identify any houses missing in the ‘after’ image. Keep in mind that the images are captured from different angles so there is some distortion.
‘Before and After’, Koshe Landfill landslide – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Also of note, an image of Oroville Dam that we have looked at previously via DigitalGlobe, is now in historical imagery.
To find the locations mentioned above download this KML file.