My Google Map Blog

Archive for December, 2016


The best of Google Earth for December 2016

by Timothy Whitehead on Dec.30, 2016, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Google Earth imagery updates – Fire!We noted that the ‘historical imagery’ layer has finally been updated and had a look at some wildfires in the US.

The biggest changes to Google Earth in 2016We had a look at the most significant changes to Google Earth during 2016. Thank you to GEB reader Bhaskar Phukan for pointing out that we missed mentioning that Google Map Maker is being merged with Google Maps and will be shut down in March 2017. It isn’t technically a part of Google Earth, but a lot of the map data in Google Earth came to it via Google Map Maker.

New Street View coverage 2016We had a look at the extent of new Street View coverage added during the course of 2016. We also had a look at the progress made during 2016 in new 3D imagery coverage.

Why Santa’s base remains a secretWe talked about why Santa’s base remains a secret and discussed the various reasons why Google Earth imagery in the polar regions is so poor.

Planet imagery for natural disaster responseWe had a look at satellite imaging company Planet’s new natural disaster response imagery platform.

The sinking Millennium Tower, San FranciscoWe had a look at a study using Sentinel 1 data to measure the sinking of the Millennium Tower, San Francisco.

The Google Earth Blog Santa TrackerWe ran the Google Earth Blog Santa Tracker.

Land Lines Chrome experimentWe had a look at ‘Land Lines’ a Chrome experiment that has fun with a selection of Google Earth imagery.

Street View comes to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin IslandsPuerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands got Street View.

Google Earth sinks an islandWe had a look at a sunken island caused by bad altitude data in Google Earth.

Google Earth API /plugin finally coming to an endGoogle announced that the Google Earth API / plugin will finally be shut down on January 11th, 2017.

Global surface water and historical changes mapWe had a look at a global historical water surface changes map created using Landsat imagery and Google Earth Engine.

A burnt out plane and some imagery errorsWe had a look at a burnt out plane at Dubai International Airport and also noted some imagery errors. The imagery errors have since been rectified.

DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-4 sees first lightWe had a look at the very first imagery from DigitalGlobe’s new satellite World View-4.

Moving sand in Landsat animationsWe had a look at desert sand being blown by the wind as seen in Landsat imagery.

Panoramio photos not showing in Google EarthWe got a scare when the Panoramio photos stopped showing properly in Google Earth. We thought that Panoramio, which is scheduled to be shut down in November 2017 had been shut down early. But it turned out to be a temporary technical glitch which was quickly resolved.

Villagers in India losing land to a changing riverWe had a look at a river in India whose course is changing significantly over time and villagers are complaining that they are losing land to residents on the other side of the river.

Animating the new Landsat/Sentinel global mosaics with a dynamic tourLast month Google added some global mosaics of Landsat and Sentinel-2 imagery to ‘historical imagery’, one for each year from 1984 to 2016. We created tools to animate the mosaics or switch between 1984 and 2016.

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Google Earth imagery updates – Fire!

by Timothy Whitehead on Dec.29, 2016, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Google has at last updated the ‘historical imagery’ layer. Just yesterday we complained about the fact that it hadn’t been updated since July. Thank you to the anonymous GEB reader who let us know in the comments that it has now been updated. It appears that not all current imagery has made it into historical imagery yet.

We will attempt to do a map of imagery updates over the coming days, but it will be difficult as the new global mosaics of Landsat / Sentinel-2 imagery make it much harder. When you are zoomed out, Google Earth only shows the mosaics and yearly dates, so it is necessary to zoom quite a long way in to read the time toolbar to get the list of available dates for a given location. In addition, the Google Earth API is being shut down on January 11th, so after that we will not be able to create such maps.

Today we are looking at a few large wildfires in the US.

Clayton Fire, California
The Clayton Fire started on August 13, 2016 and destroyed 300 buildings.

before
after

 

before
after

 
Junkins Fire, Colorado
The Junkins Fire took place in late October, 2016 and can be seen still burning in the imagery. It appears to have mostly affected wilderness (it is named for Junkins Park, Colorado) but it did destroy 9 homes and 17 outbuildings

before
after

 
Beaver Creek Fire, Colorado
The Beaver Creek Fire apparently kept burning for over two months. We can see smoke from the fire in imagery from July and August 2016.

before
after

 
Soberanes Fire, California
According to Wikipedia the Soberanes Fire was the most expensive wildfire in United States history, costing $236 million to suppress. It was worth the expense as Robert Baird, supervisor of the Los Padres National Forest, estimated that firefighters saved US$6.8 billion worth of real estate despite 57 homes and 11 outbuildings being destroyed.


This red line is fire retardant, probably dropped from an aircraft.


The fire burning and some vehicles most likely involved in the firefighting effort.

To see the locations mentioned in this post in Google Earth, download this KML file

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The biggest changes to Google Earth in 2016

by Timothy Whitehead on Dec.28, 2016, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

The Google Earth client only saw bug fix updates this year. However, there were a number of significant changes to the imagery and layers.

Global Mosaics
In June, Google updated the global mosaic composed of Landsat imagery that is seen in Google Earth when you zoom out. In November, Google added global mosaics to historical imagery created with Landsat and Sentinel 2 imagery showing the earth from 1984 to date.

Lion, the Saroo Brierley story featured in a Voyager layer
In November, Google updated the Voyager layer to Edition 3 featuring the story of Saroo Brierley who found his way home with the aid of Google Earth. The story has been made into a move called ‘Lion’.

No ‘historical imagery’ updates
Google has been very active with imagery updates, adding new imagery on an almost weekly basis. For the first half of the year we were able to track these changes with the help of ‘historical imagery’ and the Google Earth API. But, from about July onwards, although Google has continued to add imagery to the default layer, no updates have been made to ‘historical imagery’ other than the addition of the global Landsat / Sentinel-2 mosaics mentioned above. This has made tracking the full extent of imagery updates impossible.

Weather layers dropped
The weather layers were broken then fixed in 2015 and then broken again in 2016. Rather than fix it, Google chose to remove the layers from Google Earth. The layers removed were “Conditions and Forecast” and “Ocean Observations”. The “Clouds” and “Radar” layers still work.

Panoramio
Google announced that it will be shutting down Panoramio. The Panoramio layer in Google Earth is very popular and has a lot of photos in areas where Street View does not have coverage. The shutdown date is set for November 2017. We had a brief scare when the images stopped showing in Google Earth and we thought the layer had been removed early, but it turned out to be a technical problem that was soon fixed.

Google Earth Plugin / API
Having been deprecated in December 2014, Google announced that the Google Earth Plugin / API will finally be shut down on January 11, 2017.

Old versions
In addition to shutting down the Google Earth plugin / API, Google is discontinuing support for Google Earth 4 on January 11, 2017.

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Google Earth 3D imagery progress for 2016

by Timothy Whitehead on Dec.27, 2016, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Over the course of 2016, Google Earth received about 90,000 square kilometres of new 3D imagery (about the area of Portugal). This represents a significant slowdown in new area covered:


New area of 3D imagery by year in square kilometres.


New area of 3D imagery by month in square kilometres.

However, a lot of previously existing areas received updates, either with freshly captured imagery or reprocessed imagery, but such updates are impossible to track in terms of area.

Three new countries received imagery this year, Tunisia, Malaysia, and most recently Slovenia.

As always, a big thank you to all the GEB readers who contribute to our KML map of 3D areas by alerting us to new areas and/or drawing outlines. If you submit outlines please be sure to follow the guidelines.


Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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Google Earth 3D imagery progress for 2016

by Timothy Whitehead on Dec.27, 2016, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Over the course of 2016, Google Earth received about 90,000 square kilometres of new 3D imagery (about the area of Portugal). This represents a significant slowdown in new area covered:


New area of 3D imagery by year in square kilometres.


New area of 3D imagery by month in square kilometres.

However, a lot of previously existing areas received updates, either with freshly captured imagery or reprocessed imagery, but such updates are impossible to track in terms of area.

Three new countries received imagery this year, Tunisia, Malaysia, and most recently Slovenia.

As always, a big thank you to all the GEB readers who contribute to our KML map of 3D areas by alerting us to new areas and/or drawing outlines. If you submit outlines please be sure to follow the guidelines.


Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The post Google Earth 3D imagery progress for 2016 appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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