A couple of weeks ago we had a look at Google Earth’s new ‘Satellite imagery updates’ layer. One notable feature of the new layers is that they can be put into your ‘My Places’ and then exported to KML. Previously, Google would release update maps via a Google map. Although it was possible to view it in Google Earth, there was no way to save it as KML. Today, we are having a look at what sort of things can be done when you have direct access to the data.
|Continent||Area (sq. km)|
|Oceans & Islands||6,098|
Another thing we can do is get the dates of the imagery into Excel. To do this, we exported each continent as a KML file, renamed them to *.xml and then opened them in Excel as XML files. We then combined them into one spreadsheet.
Now we can find out which is the oldest and newest image in the collection. The oldest is a strip of imagery captured on November 5th 2010, in Tibet, China. This is one of many old images in the region that were added by Google to help aid workers in the region in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake. The newest is a pair of images captured on June 5th, 2015, in Hunan Province, China.
We can also get a better overall picture of the age of the imagery by counting the images by year:
|Year||# of images|
and breaking 2015 down into months:
|Month||# of images|
Another fun thing we can do is reproduce the KML colour coded by date. We had to figure out how to export XML from Excel, and with a little help with the colour scheme from this site we were able to produce this KML file. So download it now and try it out!
We would love it if Google were to include in the metadata the imagery provider and whether it is satellite imagery or aerial imagery.