Google Maps Satellite Is Blurry & Out of Date

Two black headphones on brown wooden table.jpg

While Google Maps has very clear, close images for many places in the world, not all places have high-resolution images available. If you're looking at a place on Google Maps that appears blurry or outdated, chances are the images aren't high-quality images or that they were taken months or years before. Google says that images are, on average, one to three years old and show you an image from 800 feet to 1500 feet above the ground.

1 Google Maps Imagery

When you see a blurry image, there are a few things you can do to get a more high-resolution one on Google Maps. The most clear image is always displayed by default. Google recommends turning off layers, clearing your cache, turning off anisotropic filtering and looking at the streaming indicator to see whether all Google Earth information has already been downloaded. Keep in mind that even high-quality images can be obscured by clouds or air pollution.

Sometimes an older image is clearer than a new image, and that's why a place looks different than it does currently. To see a newer image, even if it's less clear, click "View" and then click "Historical Timeline" to look at different images of that place at different times.

2 Deliberate Blurring

Some places are deliberately blurred by Google. For example, the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa, Israel isn't clearly visible when viewing satellite images of Haifa. It's possible that Google is trying to prevent certain groups from accessing information about the deliberately blurred structures for purposes of preventing terrorist attacks and other mayhem.

Melly Parker has been writing since 2007, focusing on health, business, technology and home improvement. She has also worked as a teacher and a bioassay laboratory technician. Parker now serves as a marketing specialist at one of the largest mobile app developers in the world. She holds a Master of Science in English.