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How often are Google Earth images updated?

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January 21, 2018 4:07AM

The images in Google Earth (and Google Maps) are updated on a continuous basis. It's hard to say exactly when an area will be updated because some areas may be updated more frequently than others (just because that data is more readily available). While most images are no more than 3 years old in high resolution areas, low resolution imagery in some areas may be older. When high-res or newer imagery is not available, the base map used in Google Earth is a circa 2000 TerraMetrics/NASA 15 meter resolution base imagery.

It takes months of post processing new imagery before they go online so bulk updates usually happen about every 2-3 weeks. Google Earth and Google Maps share the same backend satellite image database and are updated together.

Why are newer images sometimes found in Historical Imagery?

Newer imagery is sometimes available in 'Historical Imagery', which can be enabled from the View menu option in Google Earth. Sometimes older images are actually of better quality than new images (i.e. there might be a huge cloud over a certain area which encourages using the older, clearer image). This feature is not available in Google Maps.

Where was Google Earth imagery last updated?

If you want to see where Google Earth (and Google Maps) imagery was last updated either check out the Google Earth Blog for update announcements or simply click on the 'Google Earth Imagery Updates' link below to see the highlighted areas on the globe.

When will my area be updated?

Due to overwhelming demand when a given area will be updated Google has created a new e-mail notification service. Check out 'Follow Your World' in related links below.