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How Often Does Google Maps Update? When Will it Update Next?

Posted by Jamie on July 24, 2019

Have you ever looked up your home or school or other place of interest on Google Maps, zoomed in, and exclaimed “Hey! That’s not what it looks like now!” Maybe you put in or took out a swimming pool, or your neighbor’s old red barn burned down two years ago—yet there’s the old view of the property from space. What’s up with that? Well, of course, Google Maps doesn’t update in real-time, or even with a great deal of frequency. In fact, for some places, the maps may be years out of date! Lots of people have wondered how often Google Maps updates, and how to find out when it’s going to update next, for a given spot, so we decided to explore this question and see what we could discover.

Google Maps

Google Maps uses satellite-based photography from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Landsat 8 satellites. These offer very detailed views covering almost the entire surface of the planet. Google accesses these images and also uses a sophisticated algorithm to detect cloud cover and replace overcast areas with previous footage so that its users get an uninterrupted view of the world. All this information is put into a copy of Earth Engine, which crunches all the data and creates the map.

The Landsat program is government-funded but the data it gathers is available to the entire world. Scientists, researchers, environmental groups and Google Maps are just some of the people who access this information to learn more about the earth and how it changes over time. According to Google, the data they compile from the Landsat program amounts to almost a petabyte, or 700 trillion pixels. It would take almost a billion 1280×960 computer monitors to display the entire map at once!

How often does Google Maps update and when will it update next2

How often does Google Maps update?

Google doesn’t have a fixed schedule of updates, or if it does, it doesn’t release that information to the public. However, from empirical data collection, we know that the update frequency depends on what part of the world is being imaged. In small, highly populated portions of the continental United States, updates can happen as often as every week. For places more isolated, the frequency could be as slow as every couple of years or longer.

According to The Google Earth Blog, the more populated a place is, the more often it will be updated. Some parts of the country are updated often, including cities like New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and other important metro areas. However, rural areas, including much of the United States outside of the coasts, are updated on a much slower scale, only when something is considered important enough to update. For example, if a new land development sprouts up with dozens of houses where there was once a field, Google will update this portion of the map quickly, in order to ensure that they’re offering users not just the ability to see what’s around them, but the new addresses of their friends. However, smaller things, including examples like your new pool, aren’t deemed important enough for Google to update their content. This makes some amount of sense, especially considering how often billions of people around the world change their home and backyards.

Follow Your World

If you’re interested in following Google Earth and Google Maps, there is a useful site you can subscribe to called ‘Follow Your World’. This allows you to define spots on Google Maps by browsing for the location you want to follow, and then Google Maps will alert you whenever that spot is due for an update.

It is a simple but very effective little tool if you are into maps or are curious as to when the Street View image of your house will be updated.

What about Google Street View?

As with the regular Google Maps program, Google does not release the exact update schedule for Google Street View. Like with Maps, how often Street View is updated will depend on the area you live in. Google is constantly updating metro areas because of the turnover on buildings, restaurants, companies, and more. However, if you live in a rural area, there’s often no need to update Street View until several years have passed. Remember that Street View involves a full van equipped with thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment driving down roads, so don’t be surprised if Street View in your neighborhood is only updated every half decade—or longer.

This page on the Google Street View website is a good indicator of where Google Street View has been and where it is going in the near future. The main map shows where Google Street View has been so far, which is a good place to start. Scroll down the page and you will see a central window with an update schedule in it. You can browse this to see where the cameras are going next. The information is only provided down to the city level, however; Google Street View won’t tell you which parts of town are going to be updated.

If you live outside the United States, select the drop down box above the schedule window to find out if you are getting a Google Street View update anytime soon.

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What’s new in Google Maps?

For the longest time it seemed Google Maps didn’t evolve much at all. Over the past couple of years, a lot has happened and the app is now better than ever. Recently, Google added a feature that allows you to track friends in real-time when they share their location with you, either for limited amounts of time or a specific location that doesn’t update live. Google Maps has added content like music players, a speedometer, and accident reporting to help make the platform more powerful than ever.

The new location tracker feature can be enabled by using GPS on your smartphone and tapping the blue dot in Google Maps. Select Share location and how long you want to share it for. You can allow a time limit for tracking, which is a neat touch. You then send a link to whomever you want to share it with.

A more useful recent addition is the ability to find parking in your city. This new feature began arriving gradually this year and is now part of the Google Maps app. When exploring your city, you should see a rounded ‘P’ at various points on the map. This shows you where there is parking.

You can also save the location where you parked so you never get lost again and even track the amount of time you have left on the meter. Use this new feature and you should never get a ticket ever again!

16 thoughts on “How Often Does Google Maps Update? When Will it Update Next?”

Cynthia SCHLOMKA-KNAUFf says:
Please update Google maps. Our address was changed in Feb 2019 from county rd 140 to county rd 13. We didn’t move the county just changed our road
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S. L says:
They don’t. We are looking for land. Go to find out there’s a house with paved driveway on the land that Google don’t show any dwellings on the land.
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Jack says:
Equally awful is the unrequested ‘blurring’ of another’s property. Google never check ID nor reverse the decision which stays forever. By far the worst aspect of Google Maps.
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Gary says:
I’ve done an experiment between the mobile & web version of google maps and google earth and found that google maps mobile app has the latest images from 2 to 3 years, google earth (web & app) and google map web version images are at least 6 years outdated

I live in the Savannah Georgia area and done the comparisons by viewing construction sites I’ve worked on between Hinesville Georgia and Beaufort South Carolina, the images so far had to have been taken in 2013

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Bryan says:
It is clear that Google is no longer actively updating Google Maps as quickly as it did in the past. Most areas of North Carolina have not been updated for 3-10 years.
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Raven says:
This article is not correct. I live in a well populated area just outside of Baltimore. It has not been updated in 6 years. i live on a main street as well. Google updated side streets 2 years ago but nothing on main streets.
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Rick says:
They have not updated “ The Villages “ in Fla in several years
Waseemullah says:
In mine area i think the pics are back away from 2000
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Jessica Martin says:
I am upset, because my house hasn’t been updated.
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Papertowelupmyass says:
Can they update my local satellite imagery? It’s Asheville NC, and Hendersonville NC. The 3d and 2d view hasn’t been updated since 2015 it’s very frustrating and confusing when I want to go find a place that just got built in the past year or so.
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ssf says:
mine is 2013 consider yourself lucky
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Col says:
Our house hasn’t been updated in about 7 years and it looks extremely different (better) now. So frustrating we can’t have it updated. We live in a pretty known area in FL too. They should allow us to send our own pictures in somehow.
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Gary says:
“Updates every couple of weeks”. Not even remotely true. There was a very large wildfire near my house last December (Thomas fire, if you’re a fire fan). Somewhere around 800 homes burned to the ground. None of that shows on Google Maps or Google Earth.
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Amiri R Nichols says:
Yea, that’s what I was thinking.
Mine hasn’t been updated since 2014.
I guess they’d need another division to handle that amount of info and/or some areas aren’t as important than others….
But why not another division? That would create more jobs.
I’ve been restoring my property and it’d be nice to be able to show it off without only having the pics on my phone.
What’s really baffling is that it’s “Google”…….probably the most known brand in the world, if not top 2 or 3.
Not to mention they like to advertise how innovative they are…
Get it together Google.
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Alberto says:
When I create a pin drop and label it and save it to my places and I go back in and try to navigate to it. doesn’t give me the option to navigate or directions there’s no info available how can I fix the problem
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Jason says:
Google Maps doesn’t update aerial imagery every two weeks. Kansas City’s imagery hasn’t been updated since 2014 from what I can tell, which was 3-4 years ago. A site with much more recent imagery is https://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/. Unfortunately this site doesn’t have the 3D view, which is what I like most about Google’s.
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Eduardo says:
I wonder if the Polygon view (or the standard computer graphic generated view) is updated with the same frequency of the Satellite view or if it is independent… Any idea?

Thanks

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Jo H says:
My mum lives approximately two miles away from me, the view of her house is up to date whereas ours is about two years old!
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Amanda Hilton says:
It says on google maps that it was taken in 2012. I think it might have been more than a couple years since its like update.
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Peter says:
It would be a great feature if you could determine how old the images you are looking at with google maps. eg. if there was a way to drop a pin and get the publication date of the street view and Sat View.
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HOVIK GHAREHBEIGI says:
how often are satellite images updated for iran?
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Ambet says:
How can I find out when Google streets last updated my address? I need to know when the photo of my house was taken.
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Noah says:
The desktop client for google maps allows you to see in the top left corner hen the image was taken.
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