Life & Technology

Google Earth Blurry or Outdated Imagery – What’s the Cause and How To Fix It


Navigating the globe with Google Earth can be fantastic but when you encounter outdated imagery or worse, blurry imagery, your whole experience seems to decrease in quality considerably. Many people have encountered such problems and it has become real concern for those that just want to enjoy their Google Earth sessions.  Before we can proceed to find a solution for the problem, we must first understand what’s causing it. Let’s take a look at the possible reasons for which your Google Earth imagery might be blurry or outdated.

Incomplete streaming

As you might know, the content you see in Google Earth is streamed to your device from Google’s network. This means that there is the possibility of not having streamed completely during a session, and ultimately this leads to having blurry imagery or outdated content.  There are multiple reasons for which you might be experiencing an incomplete stream, such as having a poor internet connection.

There is no better content

Sometimes, having bad internet can lead to blurry imagery, but there are also situations in which you see outdated or blurry content because there’s nothing better to replace it with. While in other cases the problem is with the user’s setup, other times it’s all about Google not having a proper substitute for blurry content in an area. This might happen when that specific area is not very popular or known, or when there is little to no interest in seeing that area more clearly.

Fixing the problem

There are several solutions available that might solve this problem and allow users to continue navigating the globe with Google Earth. Let’s take a closer look at each of them, to see how this problem can be fixed.

Clearing the cache

An overloaded or faulty cache can lead to this problem as well so clearing it is a good way to fix the problem. In order to do this, go to Tools, then Options>Cache and finally choose Clear disk cache. If you’re on a Mac, navigate to Google Earth>Preferences in order to get to the Cache sub-menu.

Anisotropic filtering

Turning off this setting might help considerably with the blurry problem. In order to do this, navigate to Tools>Options (or Google Earth>Preferences on a Mac) and access the 3D View menu. Here, you will find the setting for turning off anisotropic filtering.

Double checking

It’s also a good idea to check to see if the problem really is in the department you think it to be in. The first thing you should do is to turn off all your Places layers in order to make sure that you’re not blocking imagery with any layouts.

Also inspect the status bar (bottom of the screen) and see if it’s at 100%. If it is but you still get blurry imagery, it most likely means that there’s no high resolution option for that specific place or area. If it’s not at 100% however, there might be something wrong with your internet connection.

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