Using the Google Maps Toolkit, you can view and customize maps by adjusting their details. The service also allows you to switch between the Satellite and "Map" modes which makes it easier to focus on objects.
In this article, we'll show you how often the Google Maps app updates and how to check whether the data is precise. It can be quickly done via a Google Earth service that is forgotten to many users.
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The information on the maps can become out-of-date quite fast. Because of this, instead of the current location of houses, roads, and other objects, Google Maps provides its users with old satellite imagery of the chosen area. Accordingly, it's impossible to rely on the data without knowing when it was received.
Why Google Maps
About a billion users use this service. The fact is that since 2005, Google Maps has become available everywhere, hence its wide popularity.
Besides, the service is more convenient to use in comparison with its competitors: both for traveling on foot, by car or bicycle, and for doing business as well. Maps work accurately and stably. Moreover, you can use them for free and without explicit restrictions.
The main problem with online maps is its outdated satellite imagery data (for unpopular places) and uncertainty about the date when photos were taken.
Related topic: How much data does Google Maps use on iPhone?
How often are Google Maps updated?
Map data provided by Google is updated every second: information on organizations, ratings, traffic congestion and other events.
Unlike object data, the map images themselves aren't updated as frequently as users would prefer.
The standard interval for updating maps on Google Maps is 1-3 years. In some cases, updates occur sooner or later, depending on the location or the demand for specific data by the service users (according to statistics).
For map sections in high demand, the update interval can be accelerated from several years to 1 month.
How often is Google Maps satellite view updated
First, let's define what satellite images are. These are images taken by taking pictures with an airplane. They have a high resolution and are used in Google Maps in satellite view.
This is what one Quora user writes:
I've checked out images from various places in Italy, the U.S. I know all these places to the smallest detail, and so I can notice that not all images have changed. Some satellite images haven't been updated in 5 years. Neighbors who live in my town rebuilt the house a long time ago, and on Google Maps it's been frozen in the past for 5 years.
When does Google Maps update satellite images
Satellite images are updated according to how often they change. For example, more frequently changed areas (cities, metropolitan areas) are updated every month. Accordingly, unpopular places will keep the same view for months or even years. This trend is applicable to Google Earth and Google Maps in Satellite view mode.
So the quick answer is: Satellite view maps are updated every one month to 10 years (according to Google Earth and Maps user reviews). There are a lot of factors that affect the frequency of updates.
Where the Google Maps service gets its updates from
The service has a lot of sources for updating maps and satellite imagery:
- the data received from the satellite
- aerial photos and snapshots
- data provided by Google Maps users
- pictures of the area taken by Google employees (Google Street View project)
In total, about 1 thousand sources are used to obtain data, including geological surveys, data from organizations and municipalities.
Do maps change realtime?
Information on maps is rarely updated in real-time.
In some situations (major global events, emergencies), Google updates locations on its maps in real-time.
For example, this can happen in cases of natural disasters: the map shows damage, accidents, places of assistance and other information that is critical at the moment.
However, in most cases, updates occur with the planned frequency, in normal mode-once a month, six months or a year.
How to find out the date of the last map update
You can't do this via the Google Maps service (both via the mobile or browser version).
However, you can install the Google Earth program instead and go to the desired location via the search bar. In the lower corner, you'll find the date when the snapshot was saved (see for a more detailed manual below).
This is the only possible way to find out the update schedule when the satellite data was last updated on Google maps.
Google Earth update schedule
Google Earth service uses the same data as Google Maps, so you can use this program to get the date of the last update of maps from the satellite.
- Download and install Google Earth desktop version
- Place the cursor in the search bar by opening the sidebar
- Enter the name of the required location and press Enter
- Wait for the location to open
- The status bar will display the date when that satellite photo was taken.
How often does Google Maps take a picture of my house?
According to the official reference information available on the blog of Google developers, the satellite images are updated at least once a month. However, this applies only to the highest priority areas of the map, which regularly need to be updated. So it is quite possible that the image of your house will not be updated for one to 3.5 years.
How do you know the exact date and time of the last Google Maps update?
Unfortunately, Google Maps does not provide information about the date when the images were updated. This data is available neither in the web version of Maps, nor in the mobile app.
However, you can find out the update date by downloading the Google Earth program on your computer. Open the area on the map and zoom it in. At the bottom corner you will notice the date showing the exact date of the map update. This data is common for both Google Earth and Maps.
Are Google Maps updated often? When was the last satellite update?
According to official information, some maps are updated even in real time. Most likely, we are talking about events on the road. As for satellite images (which are used by the Maps app), the regularity is determined by how popular a particular place is. On average, maps are updated once a month.
Why are some maps not updated frequently in Google Maps?
Perhaps it's because you're using an offline version of Maps, which is already outdated. In this case, if the Internet is slow and / or communication with GPS satellites is not available, Google Maps data may not be updated.
We advise you to fix all technical problems, then update the version of the Maps app on your phone and try again.
Is Street View updated with the same frequency as Google Maps?
That's right, Google updates major and popular cities about once a year. Accordingly, the less populated the area, the less often Street View is updated.
As with Google Earth, the interval is 1-3 years. In some cases (disasters, wars, etc.), map update times may decrease.
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Ilia is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in GPS and cartography with 15 years of experience. Additionally, Ilia has extensive experience in data recovery on PC and mobile. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions on MGT and answer them.