How Often Does Google Earth Update

How Often Does Google Earth Update

Wondering how often does Google Earth update? This article talks about all you need to know regarding when and how often google earth updates as well as how the images are gotten and a lot more. Read on to know more.

Google Earth allows you to explore the world right from anywhere only with your fingertips. You can have a virtual tour of places you want to visit with Google Earth. If you want to visit anywhere in the world sometime in the future, Google has everything covered for you. You can easily access the world from your fingertips.

Google Earth is the three-dimensional planetary browser that shows the whole planet (well, minus a few top-secret military bases) in satellite imagery and aerial photos. It is quite different from Google Maps and should not be confused with each other.

How Often Does Google Earth Update?

According to the Google Earth blog, Google Earth updates about once a month. However, not all images are updated every month. The average map data is around one and three years old which is understandable because taking the number of photos needed to create the Google Earth into perspective, it’s quite much. Though there are satellites taking pictures from space, among other places.

However, we can’t rule out the fact that Google Earth updates every month, but only a tiny portion which is almost impossible for anybody to detect. Although the updates are determined by some factors; here are the factors below

  • Location & Area

The location & Area can be subdivided into rural and Urban areas. Urban areas are prone to changes from time to time and it requires a constant update from Google to be able to meet no with the changes.

So if you’ve not detected a change in a particular area over time, probably It’s because there has been little or no change in the area. This is why updates on areas with more changes mostly urban areas speed up on a regular. This is why apart from satellites, Google collects pictures from third to speed up the update process.

  • Time & Money

Time and Money is a major factor affecting how often Google Earth updates. Google does not own all resources used for updating they buy some of them. For example, they buy images from other parties and it takes time for the images to be taken Especially Aerial images from all over the world.

Most of these Aerial images are taken by ariel photographers and need to be paid for by Google so they can be used for Google Earth updates. Hene time and money is a factors.

  • Security

There are many confidential locations, such as confined military bases that are rarely updated due to security reasons. Some of these areas have been blacked out forever.

It is not only for government-led areas, but Google also stops updating those areas where suspicions arise of using images for criminal activities.

What Does Google Earth Update?

Google Earth updates the location of new places and other pieces of the map. Meanwhile, when Google releases an update, it comes with a KLM file that highlights the updated region which allows everyone to know what the new changes are and what that’s to come in some areas.

However, if you’re expecting an update on a certain place, don’t assume it’ll appear on Google’s next update. Note that all the maps can’t be updated at a go, only a piece of it will be updated.

Due to the major time and effort needed to put together the data and piece for Google Earth, no wonder it takes years to update which is understandable.

How Does Google Earth Collect Images?

The images on Google Earth are usually collected from different sources and platforms. Street view, 3D, and Aerial view images are some of the types of images found on Google Earth. However, these images are not real-time, so seeing live changes is impossible.

Some of the pictures show its acquisition date, while some display various dates taken over days or months. If you want to get more information about when an image was created or collected, contact the image provider as Google can’t provide more information on the images.

Why doesn’t Google Earth Update Continuously?

Google Earth combines satellite images and aerial photographs and it both takes time to get and implement. In addition, aerial photos are relatively expensive as it takes not only time but also funds. Google would have to hire pilots traversing the globe to keep up with potential changes.

This is why Google tries to keep each area of the globe within three years and they’ll focus more on high-density population areas. so if you’re waiting for new development to be updated in your area after it has been updated a year ago, you might have to wait a little while longer.

so in a nutshell, the factors mentioned above are the main issue behind google earth being updated continuously. They depend on several sources, and Google has to pay them.

Are the images in Google Earth real-time?

Understand that images on Google are gathered from different sources; also know that live changes of the images are impossible. So if you think you can see yourself standing on the street, then you should think about it.

Is it Possible to see Real-Time images on Google Earth?

Well, the answer is No. However, it all depends on the source of the image and requires a lot of time. For instance, satellites collect images as they revolve around the earth over time. That’s a specific cycle for each satellite to update the images.

What specifically does Google Earth update?

Google does not update the entire map once. They update it in bits and fractions. By this, you can assume that one update may only contain a few cities or states.

Meanwhile, to find the parts that have been updated, Google releases a KML file that marks the updated area with red. This will help you easily spot the updated regions by following the KML file.

Can you request Google for an update?

Except if you’re a governing body that has a package of aerial images to share with Google, they are less likely to accept a request for an update. Google has a format for keeping images as current as possible.

If they accept every request, their schedule would crumble and would cost a lot more resources which won’t be possible.

How often are Google Maps updated?

Google maps are updated usually according to the Map data provided by Google which is always every second. Information on organizations, ratings, traffic congestion, and other events is updated every second.

Although, object data and map images are not updated as frequently as users would want. the standard updating interval is 1-3 years. though it may occur sooner or sometimes later depending on the location or the demand for that particular data by its service users.

For map sections in high demand, the update interval can be accelerated from several years to 1 month.

Where the Google Maps service gets its updates from

The service has a lot of sources for updating maps:

  • Data received from the satellite
  • Aerial photos and snapshots
  • Data provided by Google Maps users
  • Pictures of the area taken by Google employees (Google Street View project)

Google Earth update schedule

Google Earth service uses the same data as Google Maps, so you can use this program to get the date of the last update of maps from the satellite.

Some of the sources used to get data include geological surveys and data from organizations and municipalities. However, there are about a thousand sources used by Google to gather data.

Are Google Maps updated often?

According to the official Google Earth blog, some maps are updated even in real-time while satellite images (which are used by the Maps app), the regularity depend on how popular a particular area is. however, on average, maps are updated once a month.

Why are some maps not updated frequently in Google Maps?

Just like it was stated earlier, Google maps are usually updated over time. So perhaps you can’t find a certain location on your device on google Maps, probably it hasn’t been updated by Google.

In addition, it could also be that your Google maps app is outdated and need to be updated. New maps might have been updated and you need to use an updated app to see all.

We advise you to fix all technical problems, then update the version of the Maps app on your phone and try again.


Many people believe that Google Earth is updated continuously. The truth is that it takes time and money as well as other factors for Google Earth to be updated. Pictures of the earth are taken from satellites and are between 1 – 3 years old.

however, understand that every region has been updated at least once in five years but there are still some that have been updated more times. It depends on how important the area is. they also depend on third-party organizations to take high-resolution aerial images.

That is the much I can take on the topic “How often does Google Earth Update” I hope you find it helpful.

Founder/ CEO of Emma Builds. I Had this dream since 2018, but it came into reality In 2022.

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