From a Landsat 7 NASA Satellite, Google has finally upgraded to a never satellite system, the Landsat 8 just recently.
As a result of this upgrade, Google Earth users now have to opportunity to have a look at parts of the world with richer detail, many times more than they could prior. Having launched in 2013, the Landsat 8 captures pictures at a higher resolution, and faster speeds, together with new processing techniques giving Google the access to a lot more images, and stitching the best ones up for them to create their maps. Google Earth users could therefore see finer details in landscapes, also allowing them to be wary of whatever developments there are in certain areas through time.
Prior to this development, Google made use of pictures captured by the Landsat 7, which suffered a hardware failure, preventing it from obtaining sufficient data, which was the cause of diagonal white stripes appearing in some parts of the map.
This richer data will also be used by scientists to forecast certain events, including plankton blooms as an indication of a possible cholera outbreak, and a decrease in the population of certain species as a result of increased rainfall and vegetation.
Apart from giving people free access to images of different places across the globe, Google Earth also gives developers 3D software free of charge.