Chris, if you look in the bottom left corner, you will find the date when that the image for that particular part of the globe was captured. It's not always there for every single sq.m of the planet, but it can throw some light. Also if you click on the "clock" symbol on the toolbar, you'll get a sliding scale which you can use to adjust the date of the image your looking at. It goes back about 6 years so it's quite useful for looking at what was there before. The two example below are of where I am in Pattaya, today and six years ago when the house was built. I spend too much time on Google Earth - it's very addictive. The flight simulator is great fun, you can fly around your neighbourhood at 200 feet off the ground in an F-16 at Mach 2 in semi-3D.!