Geo Location Images


I have a question in regards to the Geo-Location Images that are pulled in Sketchup. Are they more recent than the images on Google Maps/Earth? I have seen quite a few cases of the images being different (houses changed/knocked down, etc) and I am not sure which is correct.

I was wondering if anyone had any more information on this.

Please let me know, thanks!

I’ve seen other threads on this forum explaining that Geo-location maps are often tied with Google’s API.

I suppose, it is a case where Google’s API not spitting out the most recent image.

I would trust that the Google Map or Earth’s image is more correct and recent.

Although I would believe that, there are instances where I have seen things that could only be done recently (i.e a solar system being installed, or trees being cut down).

Is it possible that the images pulled from Google’s API are more recent than the ones on Google Maps?

I am just curious.

I’m curious too, as there are often differences. I haven’t detected a consistent pattern of newer/older though…

You can project other aerial imagery upon your terrain model if you like.
Here’s a brief tutorial explaining how.

There are plenty of other sources for current and historical aerial imagery.
In the USA, try visiting your city or county GIS Mapping website.

Here’s a list of contributors to the World Imagery Map hosted by Esri.
World_Imagery_Map_Contributors.pdf (637.2 KB)

This is just my theory, but I think they use most recent, but often lower quality image for API related and non-3D application (like uncheking “Photorealistic” on google earth). And use image that was captured with LiDAR data when displaying 3D information for their application. - I hope this makes some sense…

If the LiDAR (or detailed heights for trees and buildings) information is missing, I suppose they don’t display the most recent information on their application.
I have noticed the differences on the images as you said when checking on and off “Photorealistic” on some parts of the globe.

In short, I don’t know…:stuck_out_tongue:


The imagery you see in Maps can vary depending upon which version of Maps you’re running:
Full Maps or Lite Mode Maps

In my location, Lake Geneva, WI USA, the current imagery in GE is identical to Lite Mode Maps
GE Imagery Date is 6/26/2016 which I can verify by recent earth work we did in late May.

In Full Maps, imagery of the same location is much older, c.2013

Interesting, I do not have that option available (I tried in both Chrome and Firefox).

@josephkim626 I have noticed similar things occurring.

@Geo Is there a way to find the date of image of the image pulled from Google’s API? I have no need for other terrain or imagery, I am simply curious which is the most up to date, the Geo-Location images or GE/GM.

Once the data is collected it is down loaded to a ground station ;
It must then be processed; QC check; ETC;
The data used by Google I think , have not checked recently, is obtained from a third party named something like IAOGP ( International Association of OIL and Gas producer) did not take time to search althought on may machine there are some files in the SU program from them. They basically supply type of data service search if you want more info.
Some times the data collection date and collector is shown at the bottom of the imager.
The only near real time data you can see is some that is posted by NASA.
Correction the files are not in Su you will have to look at Google Earth

I take it you’re referring to Lite Mode Maps
If you don’t see the lightening bolt icon in Full Maps, you can force it to switch to Lite Mode maps.

• Open Maps
• Add the following text to the URL and hit Enter


I don’t know what the dates in Maps & SU Location Snapshot actually mean.
My guess is they’re nothing more than copyright boilerplate.

As for the source of the image, your guess is as good as mine.
The SU Location Snapshot image is same image as in Lite Mode Maps.

Lite Mode Maps displays the following image info:
Map data ©2016 Google Imagery ©2016 , DigitalGlobe, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Farm Service Agency
While the info displayed in the SU Snapshot is different.

When I exported today’s Location Snapshot from SU, the image properties merely yield today’s date.
But as you can see, it’s the same image as in GE today.
GE clearly states the Imagery Date 6/26/2016.

To me, it seems the only way to know which image is most up to date is via GE and/or ‘local knowledge’

SU Location Snapshot

GE Screenshot

Maps Lite Mode

Start Google Earth Pro, do a serach in the help and it will show how to find dates you are looking for. Make sure you zoom in some what to the desired location over wise you get mislead because all the strip data Spot and Digital Globe shows. I get result of 6/2/2015 as the latest shown by the time slider for Lake Geneva when you zoom in.

The reason you see the latest being 6/2/2015 is because GE Pro’s time slider feature is all historic imagery.
That is, the last date on the time slider is not the current imagery…
It’s the last date prior to the current imagery.

The current GE imagery for Lake Geneva 53147 is dated 6/26/2016 … True, even at eye alt 14.6 mi

Thanks for input but DigitalGlobe Image finder shows for Lake Geneva the following

Disconnect some place do you have info on sat in your PICs. Looks like typo in my post should have been 2016 not 2015

Things are not always what we think. In fact Google Earth does not put the latest imagery on the default layer They put what they think is the best imagery and the latest may very will be put on the historical layer. At least according to this link So for example the Digital Globe info above and collection date may not be the collection date showing on the default layer. Google earth had some PR problems for this very same reason when trying to show hurricane Katrina damage.

Your question peaked my interest so sorry for late response but like many things what you thing is fact often turns out to not be true;
This is link I found of interest and maybe you would also
To hopefully answerer the issue: Google earth post on the default layer what they think is the best information and the latest then they may put in the historical layer; The sats usually used for data is ‘near earth’ meaning the data can only be collected from a relative narrow strip of the earth. Depending on the system design the sat may only come back over the same area days latter. ( Although by controlling launch some are put in what is called sun sync to control shadows at time of collection). They then must combine the data in a number of those ( possibly from different sats., different collection times etc. to make a large area. If you zoom out in cases you can see some of the strip’s and if you mouse over those the collection date may show different than near by areas and different sats. I did find in poking around DigitalGaloble has what they call a image finder ( see post above) listing their collection , conditions, sats , times. I have not found similar list from others yet.
I have not found answer to collection time / date equal but my experience a chance of real time collection and processing is two: slim to none.
In regards to " better data" most of the sats CCD resolution is in the sub meter/ micron range but when projected to ground it gets much larger, grows meter to sub. meter. Some countries ( even US) ask the over head folks to limit their res for obvious reasons.
Hope this helps some