Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
It’s common knowledge that Google has photographed a huge amount of the planet for its Street View and Google Earth projects. But for the first time, Google has revealed how much of the world it has photographed: 10 million miles of Street View imagery and 36 million square miles of Google Earth imagery, according to a report from CNET.
That Google Earth number is particularly impressive: Google says that it now covers 98 percent of the places in the world where people live. And the 10 million miles of Street View imagery puts Google miles ahead of competitors like Apple, which has just started to include similar street-level photography in Apple Maps with the release of iOS 13 this year. But Apple has a long way to go before it catches up to Google’s millions of miles.
Of course, it also highlights the scope of Google’s efforts to catalog the entire world neatly in its apps and services. Even if Street View or Google Earth’s satellite images aren’t features you use every day, it’s still a huge part of the Google Maps service. “Imagery is at the core of everything we do,” Ethan Russell, a director of product at Google Maps, commented to CNET. “We think of it as the foundation of the entire mapmaking process.”