Google Earth is a completely different thing than Google Maps. Google Earth is a 3D image of the entire globe. The only parts of the world that don’t show up are classified by the government. Google Maps gets used by people daily for commute, but Google Earth is an every now and then kind of thing for most people.

Google Earth is used for things like looking at terrain through a mountain range or seeing what a neighborhood or house looks like. But how can you tell if the picture is current? Who knows if the place you are looking at even still looks the same with how quick new roads are built and forests and wooded areas are completely wiped out? How often is Google Earth updated and how current is the picture you are looking at?

How Often Does Google Earth Update?

Google Earth has a blog and the blog says that Google Earth is updated about once every month. Now, that does not mean that everything you see on Google Earth is updated every month. In fact, that is far from the truth. So far that the average image from Google Earth is actually between 1 and 3 years old.

So, What Does Google Earth Update?

Do not expect Google Earth to update your local neighborhood very often. You might as well not wait around for it honestly. When Google Earth is updated, they usually do anywhere between a few cities and a few states. Every time that Google Earth updates they release a KLM file with it to highlight the updated sections in red. This helps users see what has just been updated and what is not as current.

Why Doesn’t Google Earth Continuously Update?

If you want to know why Google Earth doesn’t constantly update everything all at once you just need to understand how they get the images. Google Earth uses a mix between satellite images and aerial photos. Both of these methods take a good amount of time. Aerial photos are more difficult to get ahold of and are rather expensive as well. To keep the most up to date photos for the entire globe continuously Google Earth would have to hire a giant list of pilots that are constantly traveling all over the globe to keep this current all over all of the time.

That’s why Google Earth decided the best way for them is to keep images all over the globe 3 years old or more recent. Of course, they update more populated areas more often. So, if you live in a small town, the chances are that if the images were updated anytime recently you will be waiting quite some time before they are updated again.

Will Google Earth Update Certain Areas If Requested?

Well, the short answer is no. the long answer is a little more detailed than that. See, if they did an update per every request, they would never be able to keep everything current.