Image and terrain update for Google Earth

A bunch of new image and terrain data has been added to Google Earth today. Rather than tell us exactly what’s been added, Google’s decided to tease us. Here is what they’re saying has been updated:

  • Two states known for their majestic peaks have gotten an upgrade.
    • Colorado (KML) and Nevada (KML)
  • I can now see where my favorite maple syrup is made.
    • Vermont (KML)
  • Certain Florida beaches (and 1 mountain) are looking much improved.
    • Possibly Ft. Lauderdale (KML). The “mountain” refers to Space Mountain at Disney World (KML)
  • Try counting the warthogs in the Boneyard.
    • “The Boneyard” is an aircraft storage facility in Tucson, AZ, next to Davis-Monthan AFB (KML)
  • Peek inside the home of the Brew Crew.
    • Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers, is shown with its retractable roof partially open, allowing a “peek inside” (KML)
  • You can read the Skin’s logo painted on their field.
    • FedEx field (and much of Washington DC) is improved (KML)
  • An historic state capitol building is now in high res.
    • Frankfort, Kentucky (KML)
  • This city was named after the Native American name of a nearby mountain, “Tacobet.”
    • Tacoma, WA (KML), with the mountain in question being Mt. Rainier (KML)
  • A “far away” city that played a key role in trans-Saharan trade can now be seen close up.
    • Tombouctou in Mali, Africa (KML)
  • The town where Jane Austen spent her final years is much clearer.
    • Winchester, Hampshire, UK (KML)
  • The topic of Vincent van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace at Night is now bright as day.
    • It was called Café Terrace, now known as Café van Gogh (KML)
  • Take a look at “la ville noir,” where Cointreau was invented.
    • Angers, France (KML)
  • Only a third of this country’s land is arable, but you can now view the entire country in high res.
  • From 1880 to 1884 this German city was home to the world’s tallest building.
    • Answer: The Cologne Cathedral (KML)
  • Rockets may be used to disrupt rain clouds over this city next summer.
    • Beijing, China — For the 2008 Summer Olympics (KML)
  • This country received an impressive terrain update, you might call it Lord of the Terrain.
    • New Zealand (KML)

They’ll be releasing full details in a few days, but they want their users (like you) to try to figure it out first. We’re not 100% sure about all of these, so let us know if you think any are wrong.

Also, people have been reporting other areas that appear to have been updated. So far those include:

  • Moscow and the Virgin Islands (via Google Earth Blog)
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Maracaibo, Venezuela
  • Bardejov in Slovakia
  • Slovak-Hungarian border south of Roznava
  • a long strip in northern Poland, from Jastrzebia Góra to Laskowice
  • Various areas in France (via Virtual Globetrotting)
  • Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • Strasbourg, France
  • Pembroke Pines, Florida
  • Sousse and El Jem, Tunisia
  • Padova (Italy), Chatham Island and Auckland Island
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • North Antrim Coast, Northern Ireland and large adjacent sea area
  • Lusaka, Zambia
  • Livingstone, Zambia
  • Scarborough, UK
  • Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • All of England except for the Isles of Scilly
  • Areas in North Korea
  • Large portions on Melbourne, Australia
  • Shanghai and some parts of Hong Kong

If you know of others, leave a comment below and we’ll add it to the list!

(Digg this article!)


  1. Ottawa, Ontario is updated

  2. Carsten says:

    A “far away” city that played a key role in trans-Saharan trade ist Tombouctou in Mali, Africa.

  3. “I can now see where my favorite maple syrup is made.”


  4. Over at VirtualGlobetrotting’s message board, I’ve been trying to figure out the State Capitol Building one. Assuming based on their wording that this is a capitol that was previously low res, but is now high res, there are only two possibilities, and Charleston, WV is not one of the two. Charleston, WV (or at least the state capitol building) is already in high res on G-maps, so it really does not fit. The two capitol buildings not currently in HR on GMaps are in Frankfort, Kentuky and Montpelier, Vermont. If someone with access to GEarth could check those two, and either of them is now in HR, then we have the answer.

  5. Great idea to check Google Maps to see what is low-res!

    I checked them both, and they’re both high-res now. :) However, Frankfort is considerably sharper, so that is likely our winner.

  6. Likely Frankfort, Kentuky then, especially since there is already another clue that points out the Vermont upgrade (the maple syrup one).

  7. Maracaibo, Venezuela.. finally updated.

  8. Here’s a few I found:

    Bardejov in Slovakia;
    Slovak-Hungarian border south of Roznava;
    a long strip in northern Poland, from Jastrzebia Góra to Laskowice.

    eastern part of Kraków and north.

  9. Quebec City, Canada also updated

  10. I can definitely confirm that the Disney area in Florida has been updated. There is a work area just east of the Magic Kingdom that contains placemarks pointing to what were believed to be the submarines used for the old 20,000 Leagues. They are no longer visible.

  11. Additionally–the updated images over Disney are at least several months old because these images still show the North Garden Rooms of the Contemporary Resort. That portion of the hotel has been completely demolished, presumably to make way for newer/better facilities.

  12. Last update–may as well go ahead and say that it looks like most (all?) of metro Orlando has been updated. Finally!

  13. Clermont-Ferrand, France (and vicinity) is now in much-improved high-resolution.

  14. Quebec City, Canada HAS NOT been updated

  15. Johannes says:

    Karlsruhe, Germany has been updated.

  16. I still wonder when Google will put pictures of Sofia,Bulgaria without these clouds which cover the most important places and landmarks.

  17. Italy has got cnes/spot coverage for the areas not still in hi-def

  18. David Rubin says:

    My hometown of Pembroke Pines, FL, USA has been updated. You can see blue tarps on many of the roofs damaged by Hurricane Wilma in Oct. 2005, including mine. Since my roof was repaired in April, 2006, this gives a timeframe for the imagery.

  19. smokeonit says:

    karlsruhe, germany, was updated way before this update! like a couple of months ago!

    when will heidelberg, germany, get an update??? google should get their act together…. the redid the coloring for heidelberg, but left the footage itself unchanged….

  20. City of Sousse in Tunisia is also updated, sadly they cut short the hi res photos 1km south of tourist center of Port El Kantaoui.

    Also as I go south over the Tunisia, city El Jem seems to be updated

  21. Padova (Italy), Chatham Island and Auckland Island have been updated.

  22. fengshui says:

    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada finally received an update. Looks to be 2006 imagery.

  23. Ray Burrows says:

    Part North Antrim Coast, Northern Ireland and large adjacent sea area

  24. The area of Lusaka, Zambia has been updated too, for the second time in a few months!!!!

  25. Patrick says:

    The township of Taupo, New Zealand and its surrounding districts now has much improved resolution. Also Western Inlet in the South Island is much clearer.

  26. FlorentG says:

    Strasbourg, France has been updated too :)

  27. Scarborough, UK has finally had an update, work on the sea defenses places it taken mid-2002

  28. Other updated areas:
    Livingstone, Zambia. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
    Cape town, South Africa.

  29. All of England except for the Isles of Scilly are in high res. I can finally see the headwaters of the River Thames close up.

    Now if they will just do Scotland and Wales. The northern part of the Orkney Islands is in MAJOR need of an upgrade.

  30. Torsten says:

    two new North Korea areas (one of them putting Kim Jong Il’s personal Country Club & his yacht on display)

  31. Large portions of Melbourne, Australia have been updated, including areas around Black Rock that were very low resolution previously.

  32. Thomas R. says:

    Shanghai and some parts of Hong Kong have been updated ;)

  33. The Huangshan Mountains in eastern China have been updated. This is a very beautiful scenic area that I have visited. Location: around 30.13° N, 118.16° E

  34. The state of Colorado has gotten a terrain upgrade as well as new imagery. All the peaks of the Rockies now look much more sharp and realistic!

  35. New imagery to Athens and some other cities of Greece.

  36. Austria is almost entirely hi-res now!

  37. Antoine says:

    “The topic of Vincent van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace at Night is now bright as day”

    I am pretty sure that it is Arles, France and not Madrid, Spain who got the update hinted but this sentence:

  38. fantastic! where i live – Basingstoke – is now all hi res (after years and years of being very low res)

    this is great , because i can now start making public “my maps”. might start with a pub guide.

  39. hotwellian says:

    Definitely a massive improvement in imagery to Scarborough and Ryedale, North Yorkshire

  40. Gonzalo Rosselló says:

    Santiago de Chile was updated. The new highways are now shown.

  41. peter88823 says:

    Gozo in Malta is now hi-res too!

  42. pmgforever says:

    I verified the map of Sousse and Eljam in Tunisia; They are old (3 year at least) because my home is still dirt ;)

  43. Republic of Georgia has now been updated with greater number of high-res areas, especially around the capital – Tbilisi.

  44. mike kenosi says:

    please send me an image update of Botswana(Country-southern Africa) towns in order to update my google earth especially Serowe located in central Botswana. i dont have internet access on my personal computer which has google earth but raher want to update with the images update m requesting.when done pliz send me a link to these image update on the mentioned email…thanks !

  45. mike kenosi says:

    …the email add is

  46. Mauricio Sacramento says:

    I would like to understand why some images are downgraded, instead of improved. That happened some days ago, for instance, with the view of my hometown, Araçatuba, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Can someone, please, explain this mistery to me ?

  47. Good article! your site let me learn more. Thanks!Pls keep up to date.

  48. Mauricio Sacramento says:

    What about updating the images for Ubatuba, SP, Brazil, where are some of the most beautiful beaches and bays of the world ? The whole region deserves high-res !
    The same goes for the island of Boipeba, in Bahia, please take a look at that, will you ?

  49. Sadly, my home, two days after burning down, still remains.

  50. cyrilism10 says:

    hope google earth will improve the images of negros occidental, philippines. preferrably in bago city and la carlota city areas. thanks!!!

  51. Juan Carlos Fuchs says:

    Dear Gentleman: im writing on my one from Argentina, working for the INDEC (Argentinian Census buro) whe are preparing us fro the next census april, 2010. for the most of our provinces, google earth becomes a great tool, but the most of the images are 2004, OK, a big part of the biggest cities has images from 2006, is it posible to have an “update” list? on what depends the order (priority) for that “update”? May the fact that a whole country depends on that images to carry out a good and complete census, influence in the priority descision of updating certain images, say areas?
    Thanks in advance,

  52. They just updated the image of my house!

  53. akudanbawang says:

    i hope google earth update my hometown map which is not update for 4 years…. my hometown is in perlis,malaysia..

  54. Yes, one of the things on my list of things I must do is visit the Van Gogh Musem.

  55. Troy Sitorus says:

    I live in small city -Bekasi- West Java
    can we request for update your image of our town
    I see in google earth our town position:
    South ; 6degree16′.3,16″ until 6degree16′.42,24″
    East : 107degree03′.11,52′ until 107degree04′.3,36″
    wish you all the best
    Yours sincerely

  56. I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case, great info…I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

    I’m Out! :)


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