After a large update in Germany last week, Google started to deploy a new update in five countries that do not get frequently updated: Finland, Kenya, Poland, Rwanda and Senegal. The update is still in progress but here is the current status:
One year after the previous update, Finland got its first 2022 coverage. It is mostly focused on major roads and towns, with capture dates between March and November 2022. Some trekkers were also released in some cities.
A beautiful view of the Finnish landscape
However the Nordic country also got massively covered by imagery recorded with third-party camera and its usual execrable quality. This map clearly shows in red the affected areas, vastly larger than the official gen 4 coverage in green:
It seems that Google definitely partnered with Autori, the local Finnish company responsible of the first large-scale user-made coverage since 2018. It is possible to confirm thanks to the Autori car livery being visible in reflections:
On the left the car visible in a reflection, matching the car visible on the right
It is unknown why Google decided to proceed this way for Finland, but this country is now rather low in terms of imagery quality compared to most of the other countries available on Street View. And the most disturbing part is that Autori also drives on their own with better third-party cameras in parallel, resulting in weird moments where “official” Google coverage is worse than unofficial coverage:
On the left, imagery taken and uploadedby Autori, on the right imagery taken by Autori and uploaded by Google
After being ignored for years and plagued by low quality unofficial coverage, Finland is now official downgraded by Google with this new, bad quality imagery. Definitely not a lucky country for Google Street View.
One of the good surprises of this update is Kenya receiving new Street View data from 2022 and 2023. In its previous update last year the newest coverage was taken from 2021 to June 2022. Now it goes up to November 2023 making Kenya being the most recently covered countries of Africa as the only African country with continuous updates, South Africa, only goes up to October 2023.
Urban view of Nairobi from last month
Currently the new coverage is only limited to a few spots in the southern half, as shown in this map:
red pins = newly covered roads, blue pins = updated coverage
As usual more should come in the next days as updates take a bit of time to be fully deployed.
Similar to Finland (but without the “unofficial coverage” aspect), Poland also got updated with data from March 2022 to November 2022. Initially limited to the southeastern quarter between Warsaw, Wrocław, and the border with Slovakia, the update progressed well since, reaching the north and the west.
View of the mountainous areas in the south
Here is the current state of this update, with probably more to come in the next days:
red = newly covered roads, purple = gen 2/3 updated to gen 4, blue = gen 4 coverage updated
Another great surprise, Rwanda is finally getting more than Kigali. While some imagery was already published outside of the capital, it was only small areas marked as off-road coverage and related to either museums or national parks.
View from the hills near Kigali City
National Route 1 going to Burundi, south of Butare
The current coverage is quite limited for now, but already includes areas very close to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west, along with more coverage in Butare (Huye) and a new area north of Kigali. Kigali itself got updates and extensions.
View of Bukavu, a town in Democratic Republic of Congo, seen from Rwanda
The following map shows in red the newly covered areas (except a few spots in Kigali) and in green the off-road coverage released earlier (Butare got new coverage on top of the “off-road” one).
Along with Kenya and Rwanda, Senegal also got some updates from June 2022 to May 2023.
View of a forest between Thies and Diourbel
Most of the new coverage is located in the west between Dakar and Touba, but some new data can be found in Tambacounda in the east.
red pins = newly covered roads, blue pins = updated existing coverage
Along with these major updates we can also mention the first December 2023 coverage in Argentina, Japan and the United States, the later being the first country to receive this month’s first imagery. Brazil also got its first November 2023 coverage.
The first December 2023 imagery found in Colorado