Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Google’s new wallpaper-friendly satellite images are simply stunning

The world sure is a gorgeous-looking place when viewed from on high, so it’s no surprise that some people like to create wallpapers for their devices using captures from Google Earth.

The practice prompted Google to create Earth View, described by the web giant as “a collection of thousands of the planet’s most beautiful landscapes, seen from space.”

Launched a decade ago, the collection of stunning images has been viewed by millions of people and used as wallpapers for Android devices and PCs, as well as screensavers for Chromecast and Google Home.

This week, Google has significantly expanded the collection, adding more than 1,000 new images to bring the total number of available captures to 2,500. Check out some of the outstanding new shots in the video below:

Exploring Earth View

“The upgraded imagery features more locations around the globe and is optimized for today’s high-resolution screens — featuring brighter colors, sharper images, and resolutions up to 4K,” Gopal Shah, Google Earth product manager, wrote in a blog post introducing the new imagery.

All of the new captures are available in the Earth View Gallery, as well as the Android Wallpapers app and the Earth View Chrome Extension. You’ll also find the images displayed as part of an interactive exhibit in Google Earth’s Voyager, with a handy “download wallpaper” link for each of the pretty pictures.

Shah also noted that the gallery now features “a nifty color map to help you visualize the thousands of Earth View locations, and find a landscape featuring your favorite color.”

The new imagery was gathered with the help of Germany-based Ubilabs, which makes interactive map applications for businesses.  The two companies worked together to create a set of tools that enables efficient scanning of huge amounts of satellite imagery while maintaining fine camera control to get the best possible shot.

Shah is clearly passionate about Earth View and the amazing imagery that it offers, explaining that it has the ability to “elevate our minds from our tiny screens to outer space; the landscapes that materialize when you open a new tab or unlock your phone punctuate your day with a global looking glass.”

He adds: “My hope then is this funny little project — along with Google Earth as a whole — moves us to care more deeply about this strange but kaleidoscopically beautiful planet.”

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Google just announced 9 new features for your Android phone and watch
Samsung Galaxy S23 showing Google Photos

Google has announced some big new features coming to Android and Wear OS devices during the Mobile World Congress 2023 event in Barcelona, Spain. These new features are beginning to roll out starting today, February 27, with others to come later.
New Android features available starting February 27

Google Drive users will now be able to do freehand annotation on Android phones and tablets. This means you are now able to use a stylus or your fingers to annotate PDFs directly in the Google Drive app on Android.

Read more
The Pixel 7 is Google’s iPhone, and it’s my favorite Android phone so far
Google Pixel 7 rainbow gradient home screen on a blue placemat

I’ve been a long-time user of Apple’s iPhone — since 2008, to be exact. I got my first iPhone as a birthday present, and it was the original one that started it all. Every year since, I’ve upgraded to the latest and greatest that Apple has to offer (most recently, the iPhone 14 Pro), and I don’t regret my decision one bit.

However, since I started at Digital Trends, I’ve been expanding my horizons by giving Android devices a try. There are a ton of different manufacturers, and each one has its own version of Android. But so far, my favorite has been Google’s own Pixel 7. To me, it’s just like Google’s version of an iPhone, and it’s quite lovely.
Android is to Google what iOS is to Apple

Read more
The Pixel Watch puts the best of Google’s software on your wrist for $350
Google Assistant on the Google Pixel Watch.

Google has finally launched its first smartwatch, the aptly named Pixel Watch. It stays true to the famed Pixel formula of mixing half-decent hardware with a ton of Google-integrated services to offer a seamless software experience.

For the Pixel Watch, Google is charging $350 a pop. But if you’re eyeing the version with cellular connectivity (4G) support, prepare to pay a cool $400. For comparison, the Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $400, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5’s LTE variant costs only $330 right now.
What's on the table?
The Pixel Watch’s design is fresh, thanks to the dramatically curved glass alongside the periphery, meeting the metallic shell halfway through. It will be available in three case choices – matte black, polished silver, and champagne gold – all made out of stainless steel.

Read more