When the new Google Earth was released, one of the first things we noticed was the faint Google copyright notices in white, which have long been a feature in Google Maps, but never before seen in Google Earth. At first we thought Google had made the decision to incorporate the copyright notices into the new Earth, but as we discovered last week the new Google Earth uses the same imagery as Google Maps and the copyright notices are baked into the imagery. If we compare the two products, we find that at any given zoom level, the copyright notices are in the exact same locations:
New Google Earth. Google Maps
Google Earth has long had a problem with image distortion at the poles. The new Google Earth has a similar problem, but generally seems to do much better. Near the North Pole, the sea floor imagery is much clearer in the new Google Earth:
Google Earth Classic. New Google Earth
We can tell that the same original sea floor image was used because there is a white stripe at the antimeridian that can be seen in both versions of Google Earth and Google Maps.
The South Pole has a white circle in the new Google Earth (and Google Maps). This is not a significant problem at this time as Google doesn’t have any good imagery of the South Pole anyway.