I'm considering purchasing Google Earth Pro so that I can use satellite images in commercial reports. I wasted my trial period however, and I don't know whether I can export geo-referenced images from GE pro for use in other software (e.g. QGIS).

Can this be done (both in practical and legal terms), or does the licence tie you to only printing from GE Pro, or is it legal to extract those images, but you can only get them as jpegs?

As a slight aside, does the licence allow you to print Google maps that are generated from other sources, e.g. the OpenLayers plugin in QGIS, which would be the simplest solution for me

  • legal for what? commercial or private use? – Curlew Jan 10 '14 at 22:30
  • Commercial reports, I.e. documents prepared for passing clients – Jo Pedder Jan 11 '14 at 8:47

No, you may not. Google does not own the imagery they display in Google Earth, and so cannot give anyone else a licence to use that imagery for any purpose other than screenshots - which may be used unaltered in commercial reports or presentations: i.e. single, static, ungeoreferenced images retaining full attribution to Google and its suppliers. You do not need Google Earth Pro to do this either: Pro just gives you the ability to save higher-resolution screenshots. There is no difference in the licensing permissions between Standard and Pro.

This answer is based on painstaking research I have done for my organisation trawling through the various licence agreements, Terms of Use, GeoPermissions and direct correspondence with Google themselves.


Can I use the Google Earth imagery in my presentations, reports, website, etc.?

Once you license Google Earth Pro, you can use Google Earth Pro images and data for marketing purposes as long as this data is not sold to any third parties. Additionally, the images must retain their copyright and source information. Images and videos used in on-air media require special approval. Visit Google's Geo Permissions Guidelines for for more details. You may also want to review the Google Earth Licensing Agreement for specific licensing information.

FAQ http://www.google.ca/enterprise/mapsearth/products/earthpro.html

Further information: http://www.google.ca/permissions/geoguidelines.html

  • 1
    Mapperz thank you, however this does not answer the question. I have read the license and faq. This doesn't clarify if google images obtained from outside ge pro can be used (I.e. from the open layers plugin). Nor does it answer whether one can extract geo-referenced images (as opposed to vector data). – Jo Pedder Jan 11 '14 at 8:53
  • 1
    Data from outside GE Pro would come with it's own license terms. – Llaves Jan 11 '14 at 16:11

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