Data Policy Google Earth

History in Google Earth – Did you miss it ?

With last months launch of Google Earth 5.0 much “mainstream” interest was focused on the capability to view under the ocean, and of course to begin the search for the lost city of Atlantis 🙂

For many however, myself included, the most important new capability is the ability to view historic images from the Google archive of satellite and aerial imagery.


Wembley Stadium 1997-2007
Wembley Stadium 1997-2007

Early days of course, but the potential to view history in this way has massive potential as illustrated by this image of Wembley Stadium in London. As you can imagine the back office system needed to deliver this are substantial, but the limiting factor remains access to imagery from around the world. 

As to be expected by now the greatest availability is in the United States where the enlightened federal data policy means that it is possible to view Mountain View Ca. from the late 1940s — fantastic for viewing the development of the city from farmland to Silicon Valley.

Similar imagery of course was acquired at the same time in Europe, if would be wonderful to see it also made available..


Written and submitted from the Fira Exhibition Centre, Barcelona, using its public wifi network

One reply on “History in Google Earth – Did you miss it ?”

Wow, now that is an interestring feature. I suppose Google will build up an archive of the images it takes and use those, so in another 10 years time it will be interesting to look back on what the U.K. looked like when Google started photographing it. Oh, or is that how you’ve got the image of Wembley?

For me I don’t see the big deal with Google Earth, I can look at your maps and aerial imagery without installing a program in addition to my web browser, I don’t need the fancy 3D effects. But the additional features are becomming more tempting.

Oh, don’t suppose you could release some high-res photos of Durham into the public domain could you? I’m getting bored of working out building footprints from my ground based view.

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