Google Earth: Imagery Update Last Week of August

The Google Earth and Google Maps Imagery Team just published a new batch of aerial and satellite imagery, and as always, there’s all kinds of fascinating sites and features to check out.

We’re now deep into the dog days of summer. When I was growing up in Chicago, my siblings and I would be acting a bit stir crazy by this time in our summer breaks. So what did our wise parents do? They’d pile us into the confined space of the family car and proceed to road-trip it for a few weeks. My parents are history buffs, so our destination spots were typically of historical significance. To commemorate these fond memories, in this post we’ll look at locales seen in our newly published imagery that would typically fit the destination profile of my family.

Our first example seen below is from high-resolution aerial imagery acquired this past June. The locale is a U.S. National Park located in San Juan County, New Mexico and contains 11th to 13th century structures constructed by the Anasazi Indians, the ancestors of the more commonly known Pueblo Indians. This site is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Aztec Ruins National Monument, New Mexico

Family vacations outside of the U.S. happened on occasion and when they did, my dad’s fondness for Led Zeppelin would often lead us to any castle or related ruin in sight. In this aerial image, we can see the Broch of Gurness village located on the northwestern coast of Mainland Orkney, Scotland. The top of the central, circular broch structure has collapsed, and we can see the settlement remains that encircle the broch. The site dates to at least 60 AD.

Broch of Gurness, Scotland

Finally, if we were good children and did not get our peanut butter sandwiches all over the car upholstery, we might be treated to visit a place such as the National Toy Hall of Fame, located in the Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, New York. Some of the 47-and-counting enshrined toys include road-trip friendly icons such as the stick, cardboard box, ball, and of course Silly Putty!

National Toy Hall of Fame, Rochester, New York

Do you have a place you love for which you’d like to receive a notification when the Earth and Maps Imagery team updates the site? We’ve got just the tool: The Follow Your World application!

As always, these are but a few examples of the types of features that can be seen and discovered in our latest batch of published imagery. Happy exploring!

High Resolution Aerial Updates:

USA: Abilene, TX; Avenal, CA; Bakersfield, CA; Big Spring, TX; Bowie, AZ; Buckeye, AZ; Carlsbad, NM; Casa Grande, AZ; Columbia, MO; Dalhart, TX; Dayton, OH; Des Moines, IA; Farmington, NM; Ft Worth, TX; Joplin, MO; Junction, TX; Monahans, TX; Nogales, AZ; Omaha, NE; Paducah, KY; Payson, AZ; Rochester, NY; Sacramento, CA; Sioux City, IA; Tulsa, OK; Visalia, CA; Wilcox, AZ

Scotland: Aberdeenshire, Clova, Islay, Jura, the Orkney Islands, and the Shetland Islands

Sweden: Dalarnas Län, Gotlands Län, Norrbottens Län, Oland, Örebro Län, Västerbottens Län, and Västernorrlands Län

Countries/Regions receiving High Resolution Satellite Updates:

Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antarctica, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of the Congo, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Svalbard, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

UNITAR/UNOSAT team & Google Map Maker

In times of disaster and humanitarian needs, relief activities are sometimes carried out in chaotic and dynamic conditions in which multiple groups need to interact. First responders need to quickly build an on-the-ground picture of where people are, what condition they are in, what their needs are, what services are still available, and what resources have survived. This helps relief and humanitarian responders as well as local planners to plot and obtain a big picture of the impact of the disaster. They are then able to target their efforts and mobilize their resources of equipment, personnel, and supplies. Unfortunately, despite many technical and institutional advances, basic data is often not readily available on the onset of a disaster.

As Einar Bjorgo, UNITAR/UNOSAT’s head of Rapid Mapping, Applications and User Relations, has noted, Google Map Maker addresses a significant part of this data gap by capturing community knowledge — verified through community moderation — and making it available in near real-time. UNITAR/UNOSAT is the only operational UN program fully focused on providing satellite imagery and mapping products to the humanitarian community, including its United Nations’ sister agencies and governments — and it now does so largely with Google’s Map Maker data.

Today, after years of successful collaboration, UNITAR/UNOSAT (the operational satellite applications program of UNITAR) and Google have strengthened their joint efforts by signing an agreement that will give the crisis response and humanitarian community increased access to Google Map Maker source data for use in their disaster response and humanitarian activities, in more than 150 countries around the world.*

Under this agreement UNITAR/UNOSAT will act as a conduit within the United Nations family and its Member States to make Google Map Maker data more widely and easily available to aid organizations in the event of major disasters and for humanitarian efforts. In addition, government and United Nations agencies will be able to contact UNOSAT/UNITAR (email for consideration as potential licensees of the Google Map Maker data, for their disaster response, humanitarian and development projects. This agreement builds on dozens of previous joint mapping efforts between UNITAR/UNOSAT and Google, such as the ones that were coordinated for Pakistan, Sudan, and West Africa.

UNOSAT Manager Francesco Pisano shared his thoughts, noting that “Google Map Maker gives us access to baseline data over areas where detailed information is usually unavailable. Now roads, bridges, buildings, and other services, with local and official names, can be mapped and damages tracked in near real-time. This new ability to integrate Google Map Maker data more widely into our satellite analysis will have a monumental impact on UNOSAT’s ongoing efforts to make geographic information a key part of providing information for modern humanitarian relief. This agreement will also bring key benefits to the broader disaster and humanitarian community by making Google Map Maker data more widely and easily available.”

UNOSAT map of the flood-affected areas in Pakistan. It uses Map Maker data as its primary source of Road and Place names data.
With this new agreement with UNITAR/UNOSAT, we are expanding our ability to share useful map data that the Map Maker community contributes with the world, for increased benefit to people all over in preventing and recovering from man-made and natural hardships. We’re thrilled to deepen our relationship with the United Nations, and their partners. We welcome you to join the Map Your World Community, and start mapping to contribute to this effort and increase the quality of maps data. If you are one of our long-term mappers, thank you for your efforts that inspire us to keep finding ways to together make a positive difference to the world. Keep mapping!


Posted by France Lamy, Program Manager,

*Countries for which UNITAR/UNOSAT will have access to Google Map Maker data: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia, Botswana, Bouvet Island, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Brunei,Burkina Faso, Burundi,Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde,Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial, Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Faroe Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Norfolk Island, North Korea, Northern Mariana Islands, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn Islands, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Imagery Update – Week of February 21st

We’re just nearly two months into the new year but the Google Earth and Google Maps Imagery team’s aerial and satellite imagery updates keep coming!

Since it’s February, love is in the air and romance is on people’s minds (I mean, why stop at Valentine’s Day). And when it comes to all things amatory, no features and locations conjure up those feelings better than châteaux, castles, and royal wedding sites. Lucky for all our quixotic Earth and Maps users, we’ve got all that and more in our latest batch of published images.

Let’s start with the big one in the room. The Royal wedding isn’t until April, but we’re getting ready for the big day by updating London, UK and wedding-related sites with high-resolution aerial imagery acquired this past June. In the image below, you can see the site of the royal wedding, the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, more commonly referred to as Westminster Abbey. While viewing this site in Google Earth, make sure you turn on the Photos Layer, and check out the several pano360 immersive images that dot the church confines.

Westminster Abbey, London, UK

Let’s move west a bit to the beautiful Emerald Isle. Below we’re looking at Trim Castle and adjacent grounds in the county town of Trim, in County Meath, Ireland. The castle is the remains of Ireland’s largest and dates to the 11th century. As with the Westminster Abbey location, make sure to click on the Photos layer and check out the pano360 images; the immersive images include 360° views of the castle interior.

Trim Castle, Trim, Ireland.

Lastly, let’s take a look below at some new aerial imagery of a section of the Biltmore Estate which contains the châteauesque house, the Biltmore (upper-right section of the image). The house was finished in 1895 and is located near Asheville, North Carolina. It is the largest privately-owned home in the U.S., owned continuously by members of the William Vanderbilt family.

The Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC.

Do you have a place you love that you’d want to receive notification from us when the Earth and Maps Imagery team updates your beloved site? We’ve got just the tool: The Follow Your World application!

As always, these are but a few examples of the types of features that can be seen and discovered in our latest batch of published imagery. Happy exploring!

High Resolution Aerial Updates:

USA: Asheville, NC; Charleston, WV; Chattanooga, TN; Daytona, FL; Fayetteville, AR; Key West, FL; Perry, FL; Wachula, FL

Ireland: Kells; Navan; Omagh; Strabane; Trim

UK: Greater London; Immingham; Somerset

Switzerland: Valais

Countries/Regions receiving High Resolution Satellite Updates:

Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Macedonia (FRYOM), Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, People’s Republic of the Congo, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, West Bank, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

These updates are now available in both Google Maps and Google Earth. To get a complete picture of where we updated imagery, download this KML for viewing in Google Earth.