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Why can't you see planes in flight on Google Maps?

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Wiki User
June 12, 2017 11:56PM

There is a large number of aircraft that have been caught in flight in Google Maps and Google Earth. People have reported sightings of such aircraft.

For examples, see https://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2005/09/planes_in_fligh.html


Imagery in Google Maps and Google Earth changes often so a plane caught in flight on a given day will be gone when Google updates that area. Imagery is on average 3 years old, so it may stick around for a little while.

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Wiki User
June 12, 2017 11:51PM

Google imagery is updated often and even if a plane is caught in flight on a given image -the next update for that area will no longer have the plane. Google Earth is more suited for seeing planes in flight especially with its 'Historical Imagery' so you can return to a particular place and time to see a plane caught in flight.

The short answer is that you can see planes in flight on Google Maps and Google Earth. The long answer is that I am sure Google data is pulled from both satellite data and "flown" images. Flown images are taken at lower altitude so commercial planes are likely routed over the one taking the images.