I have noticed this problem occurring when I try to import rasters into Google Earth Pro from ArcGIS Desktop 10.4.1. I can take a 1/3 arc second resolution DEM and it looks great in ArcGIS until I use the layer to KML in which case it changes the resolution to something strange.

When I measure the pixels in Google Earth, it's about 150 meters per pixel side where it's only 10 meters in ArcGIS. I have played around with exporting at a higher DPI and a 2048 size of returning image. Anyone have any ideas on how to get a DEM into Google Earth in its native resolution?


1 Answer 1


I ran into that same issue with Google Earth and ArcGIS about 4 or 5 years ago.

It has to do with how Google Earth handles tiled grids. When you are using Google Earth, as you zoom in, it replaces lower resolution-bigger area tiles with higher resolution-smaller area tiles. It is just how Google Earth works.

If you are using higher resolution 1/3 arc second DEM's then I recommend that you do a Google search for "google earth superoverlay" and start working through the search results which will explain how this tiling process works.

Good luck!

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