How Often Does Google Earth Update Its Images?

How often does Google Earth update its database and images? Will it ever be updated? If it is updated regularly then why do you find old houses that don’t exist anymore?

Well, you may rely on Google Earth too many times, especially if you should visit a specific area that you haven’t been there before. This app surely allows you to enjoy the world through scrolls and taps.

In this article, you will learn a lot about Google Earth and Google Maps too. Well, you won’t find out how to update the app’s database, after all. But there would be a bunch of interesting information you will learn.

What is Google Earth?

It seems like anyone has used Google Earth for many purposes. Whether for searching locations or having fun, this app will always accommodate your needs.

This app is a three-dimensional planetary browser. As its name suggests, you will see the entire planet Earth through this app.

Google ensures that you can find any location on earth, just like Google Maps, without military bases that are supposed to be top secret. On the other hand, you can take a look anywhere you want without leaving your seat – it also happens with Street View.

All images are collected through satellite. But is it real time though? No, it is not. Google Earth gathers images through various different satellites but they take a particular cycle to update the image database.

So, in this article, you will find the answer for “how often does Google Earth update the satellite images?” Check out the answer and other fun facts below.

When Will Google Maps Update?

According to a legit blog, Google Earth update schedule is once a month. However, it might not be entirely true. If you are willing to dig deeper, it takes about one to three years to update the entire database.

However, they might make some updates once a month but for a small portion – which you might not notice in the first place. But why does the update schedule is not real-time and truly once a month?

Well, several factors may apply. Here are the reasons for every factor of “how often does Google Earth update?”

1. Security

Keep in mind that Google Earth and Google Maps are two different apps, even though you can switch between them effortlessly. However, you may not find the answer for “how often do they update Google Maps” in this section.

One of those ideas why the database gets updated once a month continuously is security matters. There are a lot of confidential spots on Earth, mostly for military bases which might not be a good idea to get updated.

Also, those areas may be blacked out without everyone knowing it. Other than those military bases, Google doesn’t change any area that suspiciously is used for criminal-related things.

2. Time and budget

How often does Google Earth update? Why should it be one to three years and not every month at once?

Well, let’s be real, people. Even Google has to pay the resources for gathering those images since the last time it was updated. The company has to buy those images from the third-party resources, which is not a cheap investment.

For instance, you zoom-in a specific spot on Google Earth and all you see is a blurry image. On the other hand, sometimes you get a super-specific HD image of a car in front of a building. That image comes from somebody else and Google has bought it to provide real information to its users.

When it comes to “when was the last time things got updated” then it depends on how many times Google wants to buy images in the first place. Other than that, it only happens for high-density areas. Thus, it takes time and a lot of money to update the entire thing.

3. Location

The answer on “how often does Google Earth update” might highly depend on the location. Logically, urban areas get a lot more changes than the rurals. Thus, Google needs to keep up with those adjustments.

After reading the explanation above, it makes sense if the updates take time and won’t happen in real time. And you may wonder if the satellite captured your house 8 years ago instead of now, which raises another question “who took the picture of my house?”

Aspects Updated by Google Earth

Other than “how often does Google Earth update”, you may want to know those things updated by Google. Of course, a huge change won’t happen in a single update. The system always divides anything in various fractions and bits.

When it comes to “how to update Google Earth”, it is clear that you don’t need to do anything. But if you want to know the recent updates, you can check the KML files released by Google every time an update is made.

If you follow the file then you will see lines of red marks. Those marks are indications that Google has updated specific regions.

Requesting for Updates

Is it possible to ask or request for updates to Google? Can you imagine how many people on Earth would ask for updates?

And as much as Google wants to take requests, the update cycle would be messed up. Besides, it may cost a lot more than you think, both financially and other unmeasured factors. By that, the cycle for “how often does Google Earth update” will remain maintained as its supposed to.

However, you can always check the “historical imagery” tab where Google keeps the new images at. The new ones shouldn’t be accurate, after all – at least that’s what Google thinks.


Talking about the changes and how to update Google Earth images is quite exciting if you are into this kind of information. Other than that, now you understand the reason behind the updates.

In case you need to use this app for enterprise and commercial use, you should consider downloading Google Earth PRO. It comes with a free trial and paid versions.

And this is everything you need to know about “how often does Google Earth update its database”. Hopefully, you have found the answers!

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