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Free high-res satellite images from Google Earth

Often, when I'm working on early stage exploration projects or conducting due diligence on a project I like to have a decent aerial image for the project. However, more often than not, there isn't one, but when you look at the project area in Google Earth, there is a beautiful, high quality image for your project area where you can see all of the prospects, old workings, drill platforms and the bald tyres on your Hilux.

Historic Gold Mine in Chile

In many GIS packages they have build in access to either Google or Bing aerial images, but you can't often extract these images to be used in other software packages.

But don't worry, there is a cunning workaround that will allow you to extract and use high quality images from Google Earth Pro and use them in any geology software package.

  1. Download this kmz file that contains 100km, 10km and 1km UTM grids for the entire globe. This will display a series of UTM grid lines over the satellite image.

  2. Zoom to your project area, and click on file --> Save --> Save Image (or Ctrl+alt+S) and a new series of buttons appear to the right of the search button.

  3. Select your resolution (by default I pick the highest resolution so that I have as much detail as possible)

  4. Save the image

  5. In the program in which you want to use the image, simple importy and georeference the image, and your done!

There you have it, free high quality (if it exists) satellite photos of all your projects.

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