Looks like Christmas came early: Not content with merely releasing an update to the application this weekend, the Google Earth team also just went ahead with an update to the imagery and the terrain: From this post on Google Earth Community:
In the first time in quite a while, we’ve updated terrain with a high resolution (3m) terrain inset for Mt. Saint Helens, Washington.
- Digital Globe updates all over the globe with the most notable being large content additions in Somalia and Australia
- Updated US states: Indiana and Delaware
- Miscellaneous high res cities and counties in North America: Monterey Bay, CA; Yakima County, WA; Summerland, Canada; Greater East Wenatchee, WA; Polk County, IA; Warren County IA; and Bay County, FL
- Small high-res updates in the UK (Swansea, Edinburgh, Doncaster, Gwent) and expanded London coverage
- High-res update in Bremerhaven, Germany.
- Newer imagery for Lanzarote (Canary Islands)
- Google Earth Blog-supplied XPrizeCup flyover and the Sanford, NC airport
- Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
- Foo Camp @ O’Reilly Headquarters in Sebastapol, CA
There’s something for everyone: Frank Taylor’s own flyover imagery from the XPrize Cup is included, while the good residents of the Canary Islands get updated and uncensored imagery (they weren’t happy earlier this year when their data got older and censored). And the fantastic city of Edinburgh, which was a murky greenish brown blur in Google Earth when I visited last week, is now in glorious high resolution.
But perhaps my favorite updates are all the obscure, low-population density places that Digital Globe imagery brings into focus. It’s there that the surprises loom.
[Update 22:11 UTC: Wow — what a difference a 3m-resolution height mesh makes. Look at that plug dome on Mount Saint Helens:
If you want to see what the “terrain quality” slider in the options does, Mount Saint Helens is a good place to try it. At the highest setting, the resolution is exquisite, but your frames per second will likely suffer. As more high resolution terrain becomes available, this will become a more and more important setting to get right.]
[Update 22:32: Some great new Digital Globe high res in the Hunza valley, in the Karakorum: Baltit Fort and the Ultar II glacier are now ready for their closeup.]
[Update 23:30: Apparently, this happened in the next-to-last update, but I only just noticed: Easter Island is now in high resolution, where you’ll find the best beach ever.]