The week in Google Earth news

Last week on Google Earth Blog we…

You can read more over at GEarthBlog.com.

The week in Google Earth news

Last week on Google Earth Blog we…

You can read more over at GEarthBlog.com.

Major imagery update for Google Earth

Details are still coming in, but there’s been a significant imagery update for Google Earth.  The Google LatLong Blog has their usual quiz, and the Google Earth Blog is filling in the details.

So far, updated areas include Argentina, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, Ukraine and various parts of the United States.  Stay updated to the GEB post for the latest.

Google Earth just got faster: Version 5.1 released

Google has just released Google Earth version 5.1.  According to the LatLong blog, the focus of this update was speed.

According to Google:

We’ve made a lot of adjustments under the hood, like improving memory utilization so we can show more buildings, layers, and user content. We improved our shaders (that’s graphics-speak for small programs that run inside your graphics processor) to make the atmosphere draw faster. We also worked to reduce stuttering (known as frame drops) to provide an even smoother experience as you fly around the globe. When we draw imagery, we now use compression technology to use less memory and graphics resources. We know that waiting for a program to start-up can be really frustrating, so we improved our start-up time by 25%. In our Google Earth API (which allows developers to include Google Earth right in their websites), we have made API calls significantly faster, which means that our developers can now do even more.

You can download version 5.1 here.  In addition, the Windows version of 5.1 automatically loads the browser plug-in for those users, which should signifianctly increase the number of users that have the plug-in installed.

New imagery in Google Earth

The Google Earth Blog is reporting new imagery arriving in Google Earth.  The extent of the update isn’t yet known, but people have found new images in Argentina, Poland, Germany, Chile, France and the USA.

As with most updates, this one is live in Google Earth but not in Google Maps.  This means you can compare the two to decide if a given location is fresh or not.

Keep an eye on the GEB post for more updates as people discover other areas with new imagery.

A ghost town from space

Earth is Square has a neat post today about viewing Centralia, Pennsylanvia using fresh Bird’s Eye imagery on Bing Maps.  Centralia was an active town of about 1000 residents back in the early 1980’s, but now is home to only nine people.  The reason is due to an underground coal fire that’s been burning since the 60’s, and will continue burning for as many as 250 more years.

In 1984, congress provided $42 million to relocate residents out of town.  Once gone, most of the buildings were demolished.  A recent episode of Life After People (an excellent series on the History Channel) featured Centralia as an example of what happens 25 years after humans leave a city (building decay, etc).

I was hoping that Google’s Historical Imagery feature would show aerial footage from a time when the city was populated, but it only goes back to 1993.   Below are some before and after photos.  Check it out on Google Maps (with StreetView imagery) or Bing Maps to explore further.

centralia-beforeBefore the evacuation

centralia-beforeafterThen and now

centralia-ge-1993Centralia 1993, as seen in Google Earth using the Historical Imagery slider

centralia-bingCentralia today, in Bing Maps Bird’s Eye

centralia-streetviewCentralia today, in Google Maps Street View.  The fog makes it even creepier.

Google Earth Imagery Update for May, 2009

According to the Google Earth Blog, there has been another imagery update for Google Earth.  The full list of updated areas is still coming in, but so far they’ve found updates in Scotland, Brazel, USA, Englad, Norway and Spain.

Keep an eye on the GEB post for more updates.

Google Earth imagery update

Google has just pushed out an imagery update, though the extent of it is still unknown.  According to Google Earth Blog, the following areas have been updated:

  • United States – Broad coverage in in about a dozen states that used to have low-res imagery.
  • India – Re-colorized, so it looks much better from way up high.
  • France – Near Chateauroux.
  • Spain – Along the north coast.
  • Sweden – The entire country, it seems.
  • Morocco – “lots” of it.

Frank will be posting more updates as they’re available, so keep an eye on his post.  If you see any other updated areas, leave us a comment and we’ll add it to the list.

Lots of new goodies from Google

Sorry for being so quiet lately.  I’ve got a few big projects going on and I’ve been away from the Google Earth scene for a few days.  However, things have been very active and there’s quite a lot to see!

More Historical Imagery — Google has added more historical imagery to Google Earth.  This is an awesome new feature in Google Earth 5.0, and it’s great that they’re continuing to add more data to it.

A great lesson about Google Earth imagery — Like Frank, I often talk to people that assume Google Earth imagery is real-time, or at least close to it.  As you probably know, that’s far from accurate.  It takes quite a lot of work to get imagery into Google Earth, and this article does a great job of explaining it.

StreetView is coming to Ireland — According to Silicon Republic (via StreetViewFun), Google StreetView is coming to Ireland.

Big updates to Google Mars — Oddly enough, we can’t have live imagery here on earth but now we have it on Mars!

Google Announces Bridge Modeling Competition — This will only serve to make the 3D views in Google Earth even better.

Lots of good stuff.  Go check out those articles, then fire up your copy of Google Earth and dive in!

New Google Earth imagery

As reported by Google Earth Blog, some new imagery seems to have arrived in Google Earth.  Some of the updated areas include portions of:

  • Scotland
  • China
  • Africa
  • A few US states
  • South Korea
  • Mongolia
  • Iceland

You can get more details at GEB, and we’ll be updating this post with more locations as they become known.