Google Earth tip: Give precedence to imagery along coastlines

Prolific neogeographer Barry Hunter at has a gripe with Google Earth’s visualization of ocean bathymetry, because it takes precedence over aerial and satellite imagery, which often would show features in shallow water. He’s even started a petition to make the 3D rendering of oceans in Google Earth optional.

A worthy cause, no doubt, but in the meantime there is a simple hack that gives back most of what Barry wants: Simply turn on the historical timeline in Google Earth, then drag the handle just a fraction into the past — bingo, the unseemly seam where imagery meets bathymetry is gone, with the most recent image tiles regaining the upper hand. Try it on Suwarrow Island from the previous post.