Google Earth Imagery Update January

It’s a new year and what better way to usher it in than with new aerial and satellite imagery published by the Google Earth and Maps Imagery Team! In this post, we’ll explore several international features captured in this latest update.

Our first example is part of an aerial image acquired last August of the central park grounds, fountain, and wasserturm (water tower) of Mannheim, Germany. Mannheim is the city where Karl Benz built and tested the world’s first automobile.

Mannheim Water Tower, Mannheim, Germany

Our next aerial example, also acquired last August, shows the water parks of Linz, Austria, adjacent to the Danube River. The park makes up part of the “Kulturmeile” (“culture mile”) that includes museums and concert halls.

Sun and water bathers, Linz, Austria

The satellite image below shows the medieval grounds and structures of one of the oldest castles in the world, the Citadel of Aleppo in Syria. The citadel sits on a large hill that has been in use since the 3rd millenium BC, and is outlined by perimeter walls and a foundation that reaches 50 meters in height.

Citadel of Aleppo, Syria

This next satellite image highlights a section of the Great Wall of China in Badaling, Yanqing County, China. This site is the most visited section of the wall, and hosted U.S. President Nixon and Vice Premier Li Xiannian during Nixon’s historic visit to China.

Section of the Great Wall of China in Badaling, Yanqing County, China

Lastly, shown below is a satellite image of the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, in Dong, Taiwan. Shown at bottom center is the partially built circular Taiwan Photon Source facility, due to be completed in 2013.

National Synchrotron Radiation Center, Dong, Taiwan

If you’d like to receive an email notification when the Google Earth and Maps Imagery team updates your favorite site(s), we’ve got just the tool: The Follow Your World application!

These are only 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: Baton Rouge, LA; Brady, TX; Downieville, CA; East Bay, CA; El Paso, TX; Greenwood, MS; Greenwood, SC; Kingman AZ; Level Land, TX; Long View, TX; Lufkin, TX; Ozona, TX; Quincy, CA; Radium Springs, NM; San Angelo, TX

Austria: Innsbruck, Linz,
Germany: Augsburg, Mannheim

Countries/regions receiving high resolution satellite updates:
Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Svalbard, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, West Bank, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe


Google Earth: New Imagery – December

Google Earth has just rolled out some fresh imagery for us!


As is almost always the case, you can use Google Maps to determine for sure whether or not a specific area is fresh. This new imagery isn’t in Google Maps yet, so you can compare Earth vs. Maps to see what’s new; the fresh imagery is already in Google Earth, but the old imagery is still in Google Maps. If you compare the two side-by-side and they’re not identical, that means that you’ve found a freshly updated area in Google Earth!

  • France: Demigny, Paris — thanks ‘Andreas’
  • Germany: Angermunde, Delmenhorst — thanks ‘Andreas’
  • India: Chennai
  • Norway: Jorpeland — thanks ‘Andreas’
  • Romania: Oradea — thanks ‘bogdan’
  • Spain: Barcelona
  • Thailand: Ratchaburi — thanks ‘Andy’
  • United States: Arkansas (Pine Bluff), Georgia (Athens)

Searching closer

The global trends revealed in 2011 year-end Zeitgeist. In addition to looking broadly at topics from more than 40 countries around the world, the site included the most popular local terms from more than 30 major cities in the United States. Looking at these lists, I was surprised to see that, from city to city, almost all the terms across all the lists were related to local news, education, civic services or entertainment and activities. I wanted to take a minute to take a deeper dive into these specific local trends that you won’t see published in Zeitgeist.

In nearly every single U.S. city we looked at, the top ten local terms showed that people were using Google to find local news stations and learn more about educational organizations. Searches for school districts, universities and local libraries made the list in ten states, from the Hennepin County Library in Minneapolis, MN to the Chicago Public Library in Illinois. Pittsburgh, PA was the most media-hungry city in Zeitgeist this year, with all of their top 5 terms related to local news stations, while in New York City and Houston, TX, no news sources made the top ten lists.

The data also showed some interesting regional differences within single states as well. Orlando, FL was a leading city in terms of education, with related terms making up 40% of the list. But in Miami, less than 250 miles away, no education-related terms made the list. While local TV station WRAL came in at the top of the list in Raleigh, NC, people three hours away in Charlotte bumped the station to their #3 spot, behind the local Charlotte Observer, which came in at #1.

People in many U.S. cities were also using Google to connect with civic services, from the Maricopa County Assessor in Phoenix, AZ to the Cuyahoga County Auditor in Columbus, OH. We also saw many terms related to public transit and traffic, which was of particular interest to residents of Los Angeles, who put SigAlert, the California Highway Patrol’s traffic report site, as the #1 most popular local term. The city most concerned with getting out and about, though, was New York, where the top four search terms were all related to transportation, be it by subway, train or car.

With national unemployment in the United States above 9% for most of the year, there was a strong interest in unemployment and finding jobs locally. The term unemployment came up on lists in Kansas City, Philadelphia and Portland, OR, and in total more than ten of the 31 cities we looked at had a term related to unemployment or job-seeking on their list. In Detroit, MI and Houston, TX, the only two cities where two unemployment-related terms made the top ten, Google searchers were also taking initiative, looking at job posting sites like the Michigan Talent Bank or classifieds like Greensheets to try and find their next job online.

The local lists didn’t just reflect hard times. Nearly every city had a mall, fair, amusement park, sports team or other fun activity or destination in the top ten (the only holdout was Washington D.C.). Indianapolis, IN and Phoenix both had their respective lotteries in the number three spot—looks like lots of people there were feeling lucky! Across the country, Americans also looked for ways to relax, from restaurant week in Boston to the Lenox mall in Atlanta and Summerfest in Madison, WI.

The searches people make are a fantastic pulse on what is happening around the world and close to home. We pay attention to what you’re looking for so we can come up with new and better ways to help you find it, no matter where you’re searching from.