Anyone who knows more about this can certainly correct me, but it is my understanding that these satellite photos used by Google Earth and other, similar Cyperspace sites, are taken by US military satellites, and the military keeps the photos under lock for about five years before it finally releases them to the public.
So it takes a while to get the images updated.
I know if I Google Earth my house the satellite image still shows my old truck in the driveway. I got rid of that truck about three, maybe four years ago.
It's like looking back into time.
The photo of the 325 at Chickasaw was taken prior to spring 2004 - since it shows the ship with 4 LCVP's on davits (two davits were removed in the shipyard in 2004).
As for the satellite photos themselves, they come from a variety of sources (and notice how different locations vary in their resolution). Almost all of them come from government-owned satellites (and some from military satellites). Military satellites generally have much higher resolution than the images you see on the Internet (and you will never see their highest-resolution stuff). Up to date satellite images are readily available from non-military sources, but they are not necessarily cheap. (The Russians used to be one of the largest customers of satellite imagery produced by the U.S.) Because of their expense, private organizations such as Google would find it an incredibly expensive proposition to update their images more than every 5 years or so. In addition, images from large urban areas (or growth areas) are likely to be updated much more frequently (sort of like the USGS Topographic maps the guvment produces). The more frequently updated images are likely to be those on government sites.
Ray Rappold, BS,MS,ABD (Geography)