Google Earth has its eyes on 98 percent of the world’s population

Google Earth lets users browse more than 36 million miles of satellite imagery.

| Updated on: Dec 16 2019, 19:12 IST
The buildings mapped in Myanmar by Google Maps.
The buildings mapped in Myanmar by Google Maps. (Google)
The buildings mapped in Myanmar by Google Maps.
The buildings mapped in Myanmar by Google Maps. (Google)

According to the information Google put out in its blog, Google Earth now covers more than 98% of the world and has captured 10 million miles of Street View imagery.

To put things into some real perspective, 10 million miles means going around the globe more than 400 times. Also, Google Earth lets you browse through 36 million miles of satellite imagery.

Basically, that's A LOT of footage and eyes everywhere.

"While these stunning photos show us parts of the world we may never get a chance to visit, they also help Google Maps accurately model a world that is changing each day," the blog states.

Google also explained how these images have been captured reminding everyone that it is "no small task" and that Google's image-gathering process can take up to several weeks.

"It can take anywhere from days to weeks, and requires a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible. These cameras are athermal, meaning that they're designed to handle extreme temperatures without changing focus so they can function in a range of environments—- from Death Valley during the peak of the summer to the snowy mountains of Nepal in the winter. Each Street View car includes its own photo processing center and lidar sensors that use laser beams to accurately measure distance," Google explained.

Besides these cars and cameras, Google also uses Street View trekkers or backpacks that can collect photos and videos from places that are harder to access. When cars cannot be used in certain areas, these trekkers are out on boats, scout troops… even on camels.

"In 2019 alone, Street View images from the Google Maps community have helped us assign addresses to nearly seven million buildings in previously under-mapped places like Armenia, Bermuda, Lebanon, Myanmar, Tonga, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe," Google wrote.

This is actually the first time Google has revealed this sort of in-depth data about Maps.

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First Published Date: 16 Dec, 19:09 IST