Is Google Earth broken? Large cities are just plain white regions.

I can still use Street View in a city if it has that, and I see important features and points of interest, including buildings, where they should be. But there are no streets or other non-built areas visible from aerial view. And rural areas just about disappear, for they are almost the same dark color as the ocean.

When I first load the program, it seems fine for about two seconds. The oceans look normal, as do the continents, with the appropriate desertlike tan color used for most of California. But after a second or two, the terrain turns quite dark, and looks as if night has fallen. The larger patches of lights along the Southwestern and Northeastern coasts look normal for a view of Earth at night, and smaller dots correspond to smaller places around the country. But zoom in on any of them, and it’s the same bland white patches. Just the streets and the points of interest that can be enumerated from the various layers, like restaurants and schools, are shown. But it now looks like nothing more than a crude street map, or it would, if not for the continued availability of Street View.

In spite of all this, ordinary Google Maps seems to be fine. And, in Google Earth, I can still fly the flight simulator. Well, crash it really…

There’s a little button at the top of the screen with a little sun that shows daylight or night time. You probably clicked that accidentally.

Oh, a question I can answer!!

It could be that the NASA -> Earth City Lights layer is loaded under the Gallery section. That gives me a similar result.

Give this man the cigar or coconut, as his preferences dictate.

It worked!

I meant to mention in the OP that I had tried to visit Google’s help site, but it seemed to be down.

Of course, I must have picked the City Lights option at some point, but I thought it would provide realisting nighttime aerial photography. It’s hard to find help for a software product when the problemm resolution turns out to be “Working As Designed.”

It also makes me wonder if it’s provable that any complex software product has at least one feature that works so poorly it looks like a defect.

Well, to be fair, I basically had the same problem as you. I also had all of the Galley libraries loaded. I just did trial and error turning off Galley libraries until I found the problem.


I thought Cheney had declared those cities to be where he is now hiding.