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Adding pictures to Street View

mar 09-02-2016

This is part of a series of posts expanding on our Google Earth Blog FAQ.

We get quite a lot of email along the lines of: “Our business / rental property / property for sale is shown in Street View when it was under construction / being renovated and we feel this is negatively impacting us. Please update the Street View.” Google, however, does not capture Street View on demand and for good reason – they would be inundated with requests. But there is nothing stopping you from adding your own pictures to Google Maps and Google Earth and in most situations they will be treated with a greater priority than Street View imagery.

If you already have some good photos of the location, you can easily add them with Google Maps. Simply open the location in the Google Maps side panel either by searching for it or clicking on the place marker. Next, click ‘Add a Photo’ which appears both in the sidebar and as the last item in the list of photos. You can then upload your photo. Google Maps then shows a notice saying your photo will soon be available to be seen by the public. We assume that there is some sort of verification process to ensure that unsuitable photos are not displayed.

We found that you cannot add photos by this method to locations that do not already have markers.

Select a marker on the map (1) and then click ‘Add a Photo’ (either (2) or (3)

An alternative method is to use a smart phone and Google’s Street View app (Android iPhone). This will allow you to take panoramic photos and upload them to Street View with ease. Be sure to turn on your GPS for proper georeferencing. We believe that photos uploaded this way do not need to be attached to a placemark.

For more advanced options see this page from Google which also includes this interesting YouTube video, which has some interesting information about the trekker and how Street View is captured with it.

The post Adding pictures to Street View appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Rotating and Translating Placemarks, Polygons and Paths

lun 08-02-2016

The Google Earth placemarks and drawing tools assume that whatever you are marking or drawing is in a fixed geographical location. Although you can move individual placemarks or individual points on a polygon or path, you cannot move multiple items at once, or even move a whole polygon or path.

We recently got an email from one of the pilots of the Geico Skytypers Airshow Team. They plan their airshows in part with the aid of Google Earth and when they want to do a show at a new airport they have to recreate all the placemarks and paths again. So, they asked whether there is a way to move a group of placemarks and paths to a new location. We have recently been developing a JavaScript KML library for our own use and thought this would be a good way to test it. So we have created a small tool that allows you to take any set of placemarks, polygons and paths and move them to a new location. You can also, optionally, rotate them about a point.

To use it, simply create a placemark nameed ‘from’ near the objects you want to move. Then create a new placemark named ‘to’ where you want them all moved to. Then save them all, including the new placemarks a KML file. Upload it below and click ‘Translate’. It should download a new KML file with all your placemarks, paths and polygons moved to the new location. The way it works, is it calculates the distance and bearing from the ‘from’ placemark to each latitude and longitude pair in the KML file. It then calculates the same distance and bearing from the ‘to’ placemark and moves the latitude and longitude pair to that location. So everything is moved in relation to the ‘to’ and ‘from’ placemarks. This avoids the distortion you would expect if you simply add a fixed amount to the latitudes and longitudes.

Rotation is achieved via two possible mechanisms. The easiest is to simply type in the rotation angle below. Alternatively, create two paths labelled ‘from’ and ‘to’ with just two points each and include them in the KML file. The tool will work out the angle between the two and use that as the rotation angle. So, for example, if you want to move a set of placemarks from one airport to another while maintaining the alignment with the runway, you put the ‘from’ path along the runway of the airport you are moving from and the ‘to’ path along the runway of the airport you are moving to, and everything should line up. The point of rotation is the ‘to’ placemark.


Optionally rotate clockwise by:


Do not rely on the results – double check everything. We take no responsibility or liability, for any damages resulting from the use of this tool. It has not been tested very thoroughly and is not guaranteed to be accurate. Our KML parser is incomplete and may exclude some elements. It tries to translate more than just placemarks, paths and polygons, but some will not work perfectly. Image overlays, for example, do not work properly. The ‘Camera’ and ‘LookAt’ elements are translated but may not be quite right. The JavaScript works entirely in the browser so your KML is never uploaded to our server.

Create ‘from’ and ‘to’ placemarks.

Everything is moved relative to the ‘from’ and ‘to’ placemarks.

‘From’ and ‘to’ guidelines let you rotate and easily line up with geographic features.

Remember that the translation and rotation are still relative to the placemarks. The guidelines only determine the angle of rotation.

If you put the ‘from’ and ‘to’ placemarks in the same spot you can rotate around that point.

If you find any bugs, or have suggestions for further enhancements, please let us know in the comments.

See here for a variety of other JavaScript utilities we have made for working with KML.

The post Rotating and Translating Placemarks, Polygons and Paths appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Super Bowl 50 in Google Earth

ven 05-02-2016

The Super Bowl is one of the largest annual sporting events in the USA. Super Bowl 50 takes place this Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Google has recently done an imagery update and the latest image for the stadium is dated February 1st, 2016. The image is not yet in ‘historical imagery’. To see it, locate the stadium and turn off the 3D buildings layer.

Levi’s Stadium February 1st, 2016.

Levi’s Stadium in 3D.

Levi’s Stadium was also host to Wrestle Mania 31 in March 2015 and the event can be seen in Google Earth historical imagery:

To find the stadium and a few other stadiums from past Super Bowls in Google Earth, download this KML file.

We have also looked at various other Super Bowl stadiums in the past.

The post Super Bowl 50 in Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Google Earth Traffic layer dropped

jeu 04-02-2016

Earlier this week Google Maps Engine was shut down. As a result, Google dropped three layers from Google Earth Pro, as they were dependent on Google Maps Engine. The dropped layers were “US Demographics”, “US Parcel Data” and “US Daily Traffic Counts”.

However, it now appears that another layer, the ‘Traffic’ layer, appears to have been dropped as well. It is not a layer that we use often so we are not certain when it was dropped, but we do think it was dropped recently. If any of our readers knows exactly when it was dropped please let us know in the comments. The layer used to show live traffic information for many large cities around the world and was distinct from the Google Earth Pro only layer “US Daily Traffic Counts”, which showed historical data for US traffic. The ‘Traffic’ layer was available in Google Earth as well as Google Earth Pro and has been there since 2007. If you want to see how it worked see this YouTube video.

So, was the Google Earth live traffic information working via Google Maps Engine?

Google Maps still has live traffic information, which shows as different colours on the route when you ask for directions as seen below, so it is evident that Google still has the information.

The post Google Earth Traffic layer dropped appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

NASA damage maps

mer 03-02-2016

We recently came across this interesting story about damage maps that NASA created after the Nepal earthquakes last year. We dug a little deeper and found this story on the NASA website, which includes a link to the damage maps viewable in Google Earth.

Grab the KML here. Be sure to also check out the layer labelled “NGA_All_Damage_Nepal_April_30th_2015_points“, which is not turned on by default. It shows the location of damage that has been confirmed. It appears to cover a slightly different area than the damage map and we did identify damage in the imagery on the right hand side of the damage map not covered by this layer.

The damage map is clearly not completely accurate, as it does not have a one to one correspondence with the actually identified damage. According to the NASA article it is based on change between satellite radar images between November 24, 2014 and April 29, 2015. As a result, a lot of changes not related to damage have been picked up. At the top left of the damage map a river really stands out. This is because river beds tend to change significantly over time.

The NASA damage map based on changes between radar images.

The map of directly identified damage overlaid on the NASA damage map.

The post NASA damage maps appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Google Maps Engine and My Tracks coming to an end

mar 02-02-2016

We mentioned last week that Google Maps Engine is being shut down and as a result three Google Earth Pro only layers that depended on Google Maps Engine have been dropped. They were still visible over the weekend, but as of Monday 1st February 2016, they are no longer showing in Google Earth Pro. Google Maps Engine appears to have been shut down today, 2nd February 2016.

Another Google mapping related product is the mobile app My Tracks. According to its support page it will not be available after April 30, 2016. We at first thought that My Tracks might have been dependant on Google Maps Engine, but have not been able to find any evidence of this.

Google Maps Engine does have a lot of user created maps. One of the first things Google did after announcing its deprecation a year ago was to remove those maps from the Google Maps Gallery, which had a noticeable effect on the quantity of interesting maps available. However, new maps based on the newer My Maps are being created all the time so be sure to check out the gallery if you have not done so recently.

Another effect of the deprecation of Google Maps Engine is that Google stopped releasing imagery update maps via that platform. The last such map to be released was the May 2015 update. Since then, they have used the Voyager layers to provide imagery update maps, but much less frequently with only two so far being released.

The post Google Maps Engine and My Tracks coming to an end appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Google Street View Camera goes Mountaineering and Surfing

lun 01-02-2016

Last week we had a look at miniature Street View, where the street view cameras got tiny and toured the world’s largest model railway. For pictures of the camera they used on that project see this article.

Google Street View has also recently gone mountaineering. They have captured Street View on Mont Blanc in the Alps. Read more about it on the Google Lat Long blog.

In addition to a track going all the way up Mont Blanc, there are some individual shots of people climbing on rock or ice.

Google Earth Street View does not display well directly down or directly up. In this image the climber is, unfortunately, in the worst spot of the image.

The same image looks much better in Google Maps

Find the above locations in Google Earth with this KML file. It is not easy to see what other locations are available in Google Earth, but if you open the above placemarks and then just click randomly on the image you will discover other scenic locations.

In preparation for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Google has been gathering Street View in the area, including sending the trekker for a ride on a ‘Stand Up Paddling’ board. See a picture here. The imagery is not yet in Google Maps or Google Earth.

Street View has been as far afield as Greenland and as we have seen above, up mountains and on the ocean. It has been under the ocean and in forest canopies. So where next? My guess would be that with the advent of cheap drones the next big thing will be Street View in the air. For fairly flat terrain it doesn’t really make sense to have 360 degree photos from the air and aerial photography would be the norm. This would be indistinguishable from current aerial photography other than being higher resolution. Frank’s kite photography is an example of this. However, for cities and forests 360 degree photos would make sense as we saw for the Amazon zip-line photography.

The post Google Street View Camera goes Mountaineering and Surfing appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

The best of Google Earth for January 2015

ven 29-01-2016

We kicked off the year by mapping the coverage of satellite imagery dated 2015. We also had a look at a number of sights from 2015 imagery, including the Bento Rodrigues dam disaster and a number of other events. We also had a look at older imagery from 2010 and 2011 that showed the Mississippi River flooding that occurred in those years. January has only seen one imagery update as far as we know.

Street View has not seen any major additions this month but we did have a look at a miniature addition.

In December 2015 Google Earth got an update to the ocean floor data. We compared it with the previous data and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography map that it is partially based on and then later compared it with the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS) map, which is another of its sources. We also talked about some of the patterns you might see in the data and what their origin is.

Esri released ArcGIS Earth, a Google Earth like application aimed at the professional GIS community.

One of our favourite KML developers, Steven Ho, produced an animated Google Earth tour of groups of hikers ascending Mt Xue. Be sure to check out his blog for many other interesting Google Earth or Street View related creations.

We noticed that Google Earth placemarks now include a photo, a short description and some ‘quick facts’. We first had a look at the placemarks from the “Borders and Labels” layer and then the ones from the “Places” layer.

We had a look at various ant and termite cities that are visible from space. We were impressed by how common they actually are and were only able to showcase a fraction of what we found.

The three layers unique to Google Earth Pro are expected to be dropped from Google Earth Pro today 29th January, 2016 as they are dependent on Google Maps Engine that is also expected to be shut down today.

We did a couple of posts expanding on the GEB FAQ. We looked at how to make corrections to the data in placemarks and how to claim ownership of a placemark.

We created a couple of KML-based utilities. One shows a Google Map as an image overlay and the other allows you to create a tour to switch back and forth between two dates so as to spot differences in the imagery.

The post The best of Google Earth for January 2015 appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Miniature Street View

jeu 28-01-2016

Miniature Wunderland is claimed to be the largest miniature model railway in the world. So, how do you go about capturing Street View of a miniature railway? With miniature cameras on miniature Street View cars of course!

Actually viewing the Street View in Google Earth proved a little difficult. The whole building was captured in 2012 with ordinary Street View and the location of that is shown by blue lines. The new miniature Street View captured in December 2015 is classified as ‘see inside’, which shows as orange dots. Unfortunately only a few of the dots show in Google Earth – there are more in Google Maps. We were, after some trial and error, able to locate all the miniature street View imagery in Google Earth, and once you are in a section you can explore without to much difficulty. We tried creating placemarks so that we could share the start locations but found that Google Earth placemarks can be quite unreliable with Street View. Probably the best ways to explore the new Street View is with this site or Google Maps

There is a lot more than just model railways.

The post Miniature Street View appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

A Google Map Image Overlay in Google Earth

mer 27-01-2016

Last year, when experimenting with Google Earth popups we created a popup with a Google Map in it. It was intended only as a demonstration of the functionality of Google Earth popups, and not as a permanent service. It still works, but is dependent on a server for its functionality and we make no guarantees that it will work in the future.

However, we have recently been studying KML in detail and one of the features we came across is the ability to refresh an image overlay as if it was a network link. This gave us the idea of putting a Google Map in an image overlay instead of a popup. The advantage of doing it this way is that it does not require an independent server to work. There are disadvantages, however. The map is just an image whereas the popup version was a fully interactive map complete with Street View. With the overlay technique we can provide a few different map types and a Street View image, but they are not interactive. Another problem is that the technique results in a map that is slightly lower resolution than the view in Google Earth. This is because the Google Static Maps API automatically adds a margin to the map and there is no way to include calculations in the process. One way to resolve this would be to trim the edges of the overlay using KML, but that would cut out the Google Logo and copyright notices, which would be a violation of the licence agreement.

To try out the image overlays in Google Earth download this KML file

The standard street map view.

One possible use is to compare satellite imagery between Google Maps and Google Earth.

The Street View overlay knows which way you are looking.

We chose to make the overlays a fixed size, as that works best with the Static Maps API. However, you could make it automatically scale with screen size, change it to a size of your choosing or put it in a different corner by editing the KML file.

It would have been nice to add overlays for maps from other mapping providers, but we couldn’t find any that had a simple API and there may be licensing issues with displaying their maps in Google Earth.

The post A Google Map Image Overlay in Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Ant Cities from Space

mar 26-01-2016

We recently came across this article about an area near the Grand Canyon where you can see circular patches of bare ground in the imagery. The bare patches are believed to be caused by ant nests and so the area has been dubbed the ‘Las Vegas of Ants’.

‘Las Vegas of Ants’, Grand Canyon, Nevada, USA.

Another location that has similar patterns that may be caused by ants is an area in Namibia. There they are known as ‘fairy circles’.

Namib fairy circles.

In Zambia there are large regions that are covered with termite mounds. Although termites look, and behave like ants they are actually more closely related to cockroaches. If you look at the region around Choma, in Southern Zambia, you will notice that all the fields have trees speckled around them, but it is not obvious why from the satellite imagery. However, there is a higher resolution image from the Africa Megaflyover

Termite mounds near Choma, Zambia. According to my sister, a biologist, the termite in question is Macrotermes sp.

Where farmers are using centre-pivot irrigation it is necessary to flatten the termite mounds, but the marks where they were can still be seen in the fields.

Top: a field with uncut trees where the termite mounds are. Centre: uncleared bush with termite mounds showing as lighter patches. Bottom: Circular fields for centre pivot irrigation with termite mounds flattened.

We also came across an area near Choma which has some white dots in the soil that are smaller than the previous termite mounds.

According to my sister, these could be another type of termite (possibly Cubitermes sp.), which makes small grey mounds.

An area near Lochinvar National Park, Zambia. This image was captured during a fire (still burning at the top right) which makes the termite mounds really stand out.

Large termite mounds are common in other countries such as India and Australia. We couldn’t find any that were clearly visible in satellite imagery but we did find this one, known as a cathedral termite mound, in Street View:

A cathedral termite mound, Litchfield Park, Australia

If you look at the satellite view of the area you can just make out some lighter spots in the imagery, which are other cathedral termite mounds and when they are close to the road you can also see them in Street View.

When looking around Namibia we came across some other strange patterns:

Strange patterns that appear to be related to water flow.

We also came across a location in Ethiopia that is featured in Google’s ‘Earth View’ Chrome extension. It also shows dots all over the fields that might be termite mounds but we could not find any ground level photos to confirm it.

Near Tana Lake, Ethiopia

To see all the locations featured in this post in Google Earth download this KML file.

The post Ant Cities from Space appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Google Earth Pro layers being dropped

lun 25-01-2016

Google Earth Pro has a set of three layers that are not found in the standard version of Google Earth. They are “US Demographics”, “US Parcel Data” and “US Daily Traffic Counts”. As the names suggest they only have data for the US. If you open a popup for the Parcel Data layer a notice appears stating that all three layers will be removed from Google Earth on January 29th, 2016. There is also a link to this page which explains that the Parcel Data depends on Google Maps Engine which was deprecated in January 2015 and is set to be shut down on January 29th, 2016.

From what we can tell based on comments on the announcement thread and emails on the subject that we have received, it is the US Parcel Data layer that will be most missed. There appear to be quite a lot of people who use it on a daily basis and before Google Earth Pro was made free of charge, they paid for it specifically for access to the Parcel Data.

The Parcel Data layer includes outlines of ‘parcels’ which are pieces of land with a unique identification number used for things like ownership records, tax assessment and zoning. The information associated with each parcel varies considerable depending on the local authority.

As far as we know there is no single alternative source for free parcel data for the whole of the US. However, a number of sources are mentioned in the comments of the announcement thread.

Parcel outlines can be seen in Google Maps, but the associated data is not available, nor is the ability to search using an Assessor’s parcel number (APN) as you can in Google Earth Pro. You can also use the Google Maps API to make the parcel outlines more visible in Google Maps. See the the announcement thread for more details.

The post Google Earth Pro layers being dropped appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Google Earth ‘Rainbow Planes’ Inspire Art

ven 22-01-2016

Fast moving objects, such as aircraft, when seen in satellite imagery often show ghosting or a ‘rainbow effect’. This is caused by the way satellite cameras work taking several photos in succession using different wavelengths of light. The separate images are later combined to produce the full colour images we see in Google Earth. If anything moved between shots then we see an image for each of the three primary colours in slightly different locations and usually a fourth, slightly higher resolution image, in grey-scale. To see examples of this see this post we wrote on the subject.

This effect has inspired artist James Bridle, who has created two different artworks based on the rainbow effect. We came across this article about his second one.

You can read more about it on the artist’s blog here. Also check out his other artwork here as many of them are mapping or satellite imagery related.

Rainbow Plane 002 in Kiev, Ukraine, by James Bridle.

We were able to track it down in Google Earth imagery, but it is only barely visible and the rainbow effect is not visible at all.

We also tracked down most of the locations of another series of his called ‘Drone Shadow’ but only found one in Google Earth imagery and it is also only barely visible. To see the locations in Google Earth download this KML file.

The post Google Earth ‘Rainbow Planes’ Inspire Art appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

ArcGIS Earth from Esri

jeu 21-01-2016

Esri has just released version one of ArcGIS Earth, a Google Earth like 3D globe for the desktop. It is not really a Google Earth competitor, as it is targeted at the professional GIS user. Google Earth has historically been used by both professional GIS users and casual users, with Google Earth Pro aimed more at the professional GIS user. In early 2015 Google announced they would be discontinuing their enterprise GIS products, Google Earth Enterprise and Google Maps Engine and at the same time made Google Earth Pro free. We mentioned at the time that they appeared to be assisting their customers to transition to Esri products.

We wouldn’t really recommend ArcGIS Earth for the casual user, but there is no harm in trying it out. For the professional GIS user it is definitely worth a look. It is currently only available for Windows (version 7 and above). You can download it here. It does require you to enter an email address, organization (optional) and industry (you can use ‘civilian’ if it is for non-professional use), but other than that the software is free and easy to install.

As far as we can tell, it has no ‘historical imagery’ feature and the imagery transitions between several different sets as you zoom in. There is no indication on screen as to the age or origin of the imagery.

A view of the Swiss Alps in ArcGIS Earth.

The same location as above in Google Earth.

One feature we found interesting is the ability to show completely different global datasets, including the more traditional map type views. This is something Google Earth lacks.

It appears to have good support for KML, so you can easily copy placemarks between it and Google Earth.

It is only version one so we expect it to improve significantly with time.

We do not know what features GIS professionals look for in a product like this. If you are a GIS professional, do let us know in the comments what you think of it.

The post ArcGIS Earth from Esri appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Understanding Google Earth Ocean Floor Data

mer 20-01-2016

With the recent update to the Google Earth ocean floor data it is worth having a look at some of the patterns we can see and what causes them. In the past, some of the patterns have been mistaken for an alien base or Atlantis. However, most of the stranger patterns are merely an artifact of how the data is collected, processed and combined with other data-sets.

In the area around Hawaii, we can see a lot of streaks and swirls. This is a result of an algorithm used to interpolate the sea floor depth between data points and does not reflect the actual appearance of the sea floor. In the above screen shot there is no depth data for most of the central region of the image where the streaks can be seen.

When zoomed out we can often see tracks (1) of higher resolution data, which are the tracks of ships equipped with sonar that mapped the ocean floor along their route. In many cases they have concentrated on mapping the joints between tectonic plates (2) that are of particular interest to oceanographers and geologists.

The tracks also show us the routes the ships took. In the above image we can see the routes fan out from the southern tip of Tasmania as that is the route that would be taken by any ships coming from the east of Australia. Similar patterns can be seen elsewhere, with a fan shapes around Hawaii, the west coast of the US, Cape Town, South Africa, and a number of other locations. There seems to be a popular destination in southern Chile, but the tracks fade away as they approach the coast, so we weren’t able to identify the exact destination. A lot of the ships also went through the Panama Canal. The tracks are highlighted in a graphic in this article that we looked at on Monday. The ships’ tracks are much less visible near the coasts, most likely because higher resolution data is available for shallower coastal waters.

The global low resolution dataset used for the ocean floor is the Scripps map, which is based on satellite measurements of gravity. Although the map gives us a good idea of the large scale structure of the ocean floor it does not show the details and any given measurement may be quite different from the Scripps map. A single measurement will often stand out as a hill or dimple in the overall map, when in reality it may be an unremarkable point on the ocean floor.

In the above image from a location near Guam, we see an area where there has been a survey done with depth measurements taken at very regular intervals. The pattern is caused by combining those measurements with another lower resolution dataset that has a different average depth, so each measurement appears as a dip or bump.

The same effect as mentioned in the previous image can be seen here, but with fewer data points.

As we have mentioned before Google Earth often shows different ocean floor data depending on how zoomed in you are. This is very noticeable around Hawaii and Guam.

The post Understanding Google Earth Ocean Floor Data appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Google Earth Imagery Update mid-January 2016

mar 19-01-2016

Google Earth has received an imagery update recently, with the new imagery showing up in ‘historical imagery’ in the last couple of days. Until recently the most recent image was from November 30th, 2015, and now the most recent image is from January 11th, 2016.

Since the Google Earth API is still working, we can make a map of the approximate location of all imagery from December 2015 and January 2016. There is also newly added imagery dated before that, but we cannot so easily identify it.

Approximate location of imagery dated December 2015 to January 2016.

You can also view the approximate locations in Google Earth with this KML file. The actual imagery is usually quite a bit smaller than the displayed outline in the KML, so you need to switch between dates to find it. The easiest way to do this is with the imagery switcher tour from this post. Just download the KML file from that post and enter the dates ‘2015-12-01’ and ‘2016-01-31’ in the settings then click ‘update’ and move your view a little bit. You should then see a tour appear just below the settings icon in the ‘Places’ panel. Move the view to a location where the outlines show new imagery exists and run the tour. Set it to auto-repeat and you should easily pick out the new images.

One of the locations that has received new imagery is Sana’a in Yemen. We looked at bomb damage at the Sana’a airport back in May 2015. However the war is on-going and more damage can be seen in more recent images, including one from August 15th, 2015 and one from December 30th, 2015, with progressively more damage in each image.

White: older imagery, mostly circa May 2015. Blue: August 15th, 2015 imagery. Red: December 30th, 2015 imagery.

An example of one of the more recently destroyed buildings.

To see the above locations in Google Earth download this KML file.

Please let us know in the comments if you find anything else of interest in the new imagery.

The post Google Earth Imagery Update mid-January 2016 appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Another look at the new Google Earth Ocean data

lun 18-01-2016

Last week we talked about a recent update to the Google Earth ocean floor data. As we mentioned in that post, the ocean floor data is a combination of data obtained from satellites and published by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego and higher resolution data gathered by ships. We came across this article that gives more detail on the data gathered by ships. The article says that Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has been gathering the ship data and their data has been incorporated into the Google Earth map. From the article:

The Google ocean map, covering the entire ocean floor, relies mostly on data collected by satellite that is curated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in partnership with NOAA, the U.S. Navy and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, with contributions from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and Australia Geosciences-AGSO. It also incorporates the more precise data from Lamont.”

There is also this YouTube video that highlights some of the areas in Google Earth that have received high resolution data.

Also mentioned in the article is this map called Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS) and we found that in many places it matches what can now be seen in Google Earth. However, we found some locations, such as the one below, for example, where the MGDS maps is noticeably higher resolution than the Google Earth ocean floor data but the parts we can see clearly come from the DGDS data set.

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Just off the coast of Portugal.

One of the locations mentioned in the article, Scott Reef, clearly shows the data has been imported into Google Earth but has lost some resolution.

Some of the ocean floor data is obscured by satellite imagery.

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The post Another look at the new Google Earth Ocean data appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Correcting map data – claiming ownership of your business

ven 15-01-2016

This is part of a series of posts expanding on our Google Earth Blog FAQ. Yesterday we looked at how to make minor corrections to placemarks, such as moving misplaced placemarks, adding or correcting the information displayed or removing a placemark.

Today we are looking what to do if you own a business or are a person in authority relating to another type of placemark, such as a school or museum. As we said yesterday, Google Maps is the primary source of mapping data for Google Earth, so what we are talking about today must primarily be done in Google Maps.

Note also that some of the processes we are talking about today are only available in some countries. This relates to which countries currently have Google Map Maker or coverage by Google’s Ground Truth project. We found that you cannot add new placemarks in Zambia at present but you can claim an existing business. In South Africa, you can both create new placemarks and claim a business, but Map Maker is currently disabled there – but it is covered by the Ground Truth project. Both countries have had Map Maker enabled in the past and are waiting for Regional Leads to be appointed.

First of all, check whether or not there is already a placemark in Google Maps for your business. If you do not see a marker on the map, double-check by searching for your business name, as quite often markers are misplaced and it is preferable to correct the location of an existing marker, rather than create a duplicate. If you are sure there is no existing marker simply click on the location where your business is and Google Maps will show a small popup with the address.

Once you have located or created a placemark, open it in the sidebar, either by searching for it or clicking on it. You should then see ‘Claim this business’ as one of the options in the sidebar. If you do not see it then it is most likely that someone else has already claimed it.

Click on the ‘Claim this business’ link and it will open Google My Business.

Click “Get started”. You are then asked to confirm that you are authorised to manage the business and agree to the terms of service. If you are authorised and do agree to the terms then tick it and click continue. This will create a Google+ page which is tied to the placemark and used to manage the information displayed in the placemark. If you do not have a Google account you may require one.

We will not go further into the details of how to manage if from there as it is fairly straight forward and does have help pages if you need it. One important task you must carry out is to verify you own the business. This is done by Google sending a postcard to your address with a special code on it which you then enter into Google My Business. This can be a problem in countries like Zambia where the postal system is somewhat unreliable and some places do not have a postal address nor delivery to a street address.

There are a number of advantages to claiming ownership of a business placemark. First of all, it gives you more control over the data that is displayed and also prevents other people from making malicious changes to the data. It also gives you the opportunity to respond to user reviews.

The post Correcting map data – claiming ownership of your business appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Correcting map data – placemarks

jeu 14-01-2016

Back in July last year we wrote a Google Earth Blog FAQ to try and answer some of the most common questions we receive via email. One of the questions we answered was about making corrections to mapping data. This post is intended to be a more detailed look at how to get corrections made to mapping data. In this post we will look specifically at the placemarks and even more specifically the easiest ways to update placemarks. In later posts we will look at other ways to update placemarks and other types of mapping data such as roads, road names and addresses and borders.

The first thing to note is that the primary source of mapping data is Google Maps. This data is replicated from Google Maps to Google Earth somewhat infrequently. So, the first thing to do when you notice an error in a Google Earth placemark is to find it in Google Maps and check whether or not it has already been corrected in Maps. If it has been corrected then you don’t need to do anything further and it should get replicated to Google Earth at some point.

The first step in correcting placemark errors is to open Google Maps and either click on the placemark or search for it in the search bar. The place should then be opened in the side bar on the left as seen below:

  1. The placemark is incorrectly placed in the centre of a crossroads.
  2. Clicking on the placemark or searching for it in the search bar opens it in the side panel.
  3. Click “Suggest an edit” in the side panel.

We found that in some countries (Zambia, for example) the “Suggest an edit” link is not shown. We believe that this is because Zambia does not yet have a Regional Lead for the Google Map Maker program. We will discuss Map Maker more in a later post. If you do not see the “Suggest an edit” link in your area then there is not a lot you can do to correct map data at this time unless you are willing to put in a lot of effort and get involved in the Map Maker program.

When you click “Suggest an edit” you should now see the “Report a data problem” window as seen below.

There are three main types of errors you may wish to fix: a misplaced placemark, incorrect information about the place, or a placemark that shouldn’t be there at all, such as a business that has closed down or a duplicate placemark. The first step for all three types of corrections is

Misplaced placemark: Simply drag and drop the placemark to the correct location. You may also wish to update the address as well, which you can do by simply clicking on the address then typing in the correct address. When done, click submit.

Incorrect information: Simply click on the information you wish to update and fill in the correct information. When done, click submit.

Removing a placemark: Click the button at the top where it says “Place is permanently closed or doesn’t exist”. You will then be given the option to say whether it is permanently closed, doesn’t exist, spam, private, moved elsewhere or a duplicate. Select the appropriate option and click submit.

The actual updates are managed via Google Map Maker. For most edits this will require someone from the Map Maker community or a Google employee to review your edit before it is published, so expect a few days before your edits show on the map. It may take significantly longer for the edits to show in Google Earth, depending on the type of edit. Some information in Google Earth, such as what shows in the popups, is essential live Google Maps data, whereas the locations of placemarks is not live and may take a lot longer to update.

The post Correcting map data – placemarks appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

New Sea Floor Map for Google Earth

mer 13-01-2016

In late 2014 we had a look at a map of the ocean floor published by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. . Apparently that map was incorporated into the Google Earth ocean floor data just before the New Year. Read more about it here.

Note that what appears in Google Earth is a combination of the Scripps map and a variety of other sources, including sonar data gathered by ships. Google Earth does not have historical imagery for ocean data. We have noted before that the ‘historical imagery’ mode does show a different ocean floor map, but there is no easy way to find out what Google Earth showed a few months ago other than keeping screen shots. We don’t have many screen shots of the ocean floor, but [this post](( does have a screen shot taken in April 2015, so we can compare that with the current location in Google Earth today.

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As far as we can tell, a number of undersea mountains have disappeared in the new data. We believe this represents errors in the older data that have been corrected.

We can also compare the current Google Earth data with the Scripps map as published here in KML format.

The Google Earth data (right) is clearly higher resolution than that version of the Scripps map (left).

The Scripps sea floor map has also been used to discover a new microplate in the Indian Ocean.

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Catégories: Sites Anglophones