I'm trying to zoom in on an area where it looks okay zoomed out, but is covered in imagery from winter when zoomed in. Only zoomed in where I need to be can I not tell the difference between a lake and a swamp. Since the project has to do with where bodies of water are, this is a problem.

How do I stop it from changing the imagery when I zoom in?

  • 1
    Google Earth has different images for different zoom levels. The only thing you could realistically do is take screenshot or similar and make it bigger on your screen. You won't get more detail as you make it bigger obviously, because that detail doesn't exist until you zoom in, at which point you get the new images.
    – Paul
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 1:02
  • @Paul Why did you post this as a comment, not an answer?
    – techraf
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 1:45
  • @techraf Because there was room to consider that I had not understood the question well enough and so this would evoke some clarification from kelario. If it doesn't, and this is all there is to it, it can become an answer.
    – Paul
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 1:56
  • 2
    I think Paul's comment is the answer. There is a slight chance that by turning on historical imagery you could get old photos of the area from a different season.
    – techraf
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 1:59
  • I agree with techraf, I think Paul's comment can be considered the answer, +1 to techraf for the suggestion though.
    – Unencoded
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 2:42

1 Answer 1


Since Google Earth 6, you can view imagery from further back in the past. Hopefully the imagery from the past will provide you a better view. This very much depends on the location. Dense cities often have better images, taken more frequently than elsewhere.

Zoom in to an area and keep on eye on the bottom left of the screen, in the status bar. When you have zoomed in past a certain point, you should see a clock icon with a green arrow, next to a date in the past.

Historical Imagery Button

Click the year to open the time-slider, which will appear near the top of your view:


The white lines on the blue slider indicate different views. You can click on the arrows to switch between times that are very close to each other.

Here is a Video Tutorial.

Remember to try different levels of zoom for different history times.

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