Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Google Earth 5.0: Timeline update

I haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere that not only is there historical imagery available available in GE 5.0 but that the old timeline controller has got a facelift and a revamp so it is in line with the new historical data controler . I've published my thoughts on the old timeline controller before so here's some more comments:

5.0 Improvements:
  1. The range bars are now more visible and clickable. Good.
  2. The controller is more substantive on screen with a border and more obvious buttons. Also good.
  3. There is now a step functionality, you can press play which is continuous, drag the play head or step forwards or backwards through the data. That's useful but I can think of other things I'd rather change about the controller before adding more functionality.
  4. You can zoom in and out of the timeline for a more detailed view. Again, could be useful but I can't think of many GEarth projects which would benefit.
Outstanding Issues (IMHO):
  1. No visual indication that timestamped images aren't visible as you play the timeline because they are still downloading (little vertical columns being filled in the timeline perhaps?)
  2. It is still difficult to understand exactly what time data in the places column is being viewed on screen.
  3. The location of the timeline has moved from top right to top left so if anyone has put their logo top left (like the rightly popular NSIDC) will need to move it.
For [1] and [2] details see my earlier post.


l.wright said...

it seems to me i can't get passed the timeline of july 2005 ,is this right or should be able to reach 2009.when i look at my place it's from years ago.please help.

Rich Treves said...


What imagery Google uses depends on the area. Over populated areas like London you can see high quality modern imagery. In less populated areas they tend to use what they can get which is often older and less high quality. It therefore isn't an error that you can't see something after 2005.