Google Updates New Orleans Imagery

Google has updated its New Orleans imagery in response to the outcry over its decision — made last September — to update that imagery with higher-quality images that were unfortunately, and impolitically, before Hurricane Katrina. The Official Google Blog:

[I]n September 2006, the storm imagery was replaced with pre-Katrina aerial photography of much higher resolution as part of a regular series of global data enhancements. We continued to make available the Katrina imagery, and associated overlays such as damage assessments and Red Cross shelters, on a dedicated site ( Our goal throughout has been to produce a global earth database of the best quality — accounting for timeliness, resolution, cloud cover, light conditions, and color balancing.
Given that the changes that affected New Orleans happened many months ago, we were a bit surprised by some of these recent comments. Nevertheless, we recognize the increasingly important role that imagery is coming to play in the public discourse, and so we’re happy to say that we have been able to expedite the processing of recent (2006) aerial photography for the Gulf Coast area (already in process for an upcoming release) that is equal in resolution to the data it is replacing. That new data was published in Google Earth and Google Maps on Sunday evening.

Via Ogle Earth; see Google Earth Blog and Ogle Earth for announcements of the new imagery.

Previously: Google Reverts to Pre-Katrina New Orleans Imagery.