Super image overlays

This feature is available to Google Earth Pro and Google Earth EC customers only.

Super Image Overlays, or Image Regionation, allows you to import large images and have them automatically optimized by limiting the number of pixels displayed at higher altitudes. Your image will be split into tiles and scaled according to your zoom level. This is similar to the technology used for Google Earth imagery layers, and it's the reason why you see more detail as you zoom in to the globe. Take a look at this U.S. Geological Survey image of Mineral Resources in Portsmouth, Virginia to see the amount of detail that’s preserved through Image Regionation. The raised box shows what you'll see if you zoom in to that tiny square on the map.


Note: You'll only be given the Super Image Overlays option if the image you're importing is larger than your Max Texture Size. If your image is smaller than your Max Texture Size, the image will not be regionated. Instead, it will be imported as is.

To View your Max Texture Size, click Help > About Google Earth on a PC (Google Earth > About Google Earth on a Mac).

Max Texture Size

If your file is larger than your Max Texture size, you can access this feature by following these steps on a PC:

  1. Click File > Import.
  2. Select your file.
  3. If you're using a PC, choose your image file type from the Files of type drop-down.

    Note: This will only work for images that have geographic information attached to them (such as GeoTIFF files).

  4. Click Open.
  5. You'll see a dialog box that says you're being flown to the location of your file.
  6. You'll then be asked whether you want to Create Super Overlay, Scale, or Crop the image. Select Create Super Overlay.
  7. Browse for and select the folder where you want the super overlay hierarchy of images to be stored.
  8. Click OK
  9. Wait for the image to import (you'll see a dialog box telling you that the image is importing). This process could take several minutes depending on how large your image is.

Your Image will be saved to your My Places folder to the side of the 3D Viewer.