The company has just introduced an updated version of Google Earth that taps sharp new imagery from Landsat 8 satellite to give the planet’s surface an impressive makeover. These new images bring structures and features on the Earth’s surface into considerably sharper focus.
Here is their image of the Waitutu Hut on the South Coast track Fiordland NZ. The hut is about the size of a garage. As you can see a person wearing a red raincoat would show up in the clearing it sits in on the Waitutu River. More pertinently, as you scroll/stroll along the coast to the West of this point you can clearly determine which sections of coast are navigable on foot on your way out to Westies Hut.
We walked along the beach from the Grant Burn to the Aarn River to avoid a flooded section. At the time I thought we could have walked along to one or other of the two streams to the West of the Aarn. Now you can clearly see that this would have been easy. At the first stream there is a clear ridge on the Waitutu side leading down to the coast. At the second you would probably have to wade down the stream.
The increased clarity of the images should also help when you are using it to check out likely good hunting spots as large herbivores create and maintain clearings in the forest which can be clearly spotted from above http://www.theultralighthiker.com/spots-hunting-adventures-1-mystery-river/. These can also be good spots to camp if nearby streams. http://www.gizmag.com/google-earth-facelift/44057/
NB: Nearmap (Australia) and Spot Imagery (worldwide) may have higher resolution than Google if you are looking for a pic of a particular locale.