Ballmer an Co. have loaded up Bing Maps with yet another batch of images, and though they're staying quiet about the update's file size this time, they say it includes 13,799,276 square kilometers of fresh high-res satellite shots and a better view of the ocean floor. Brand-new "straight down" photos give the base map a resolution of 15 meters per pixel, and the introduction of bathymetric imagery changes the ocean's hue depending on its depth. The refresh even contains fewer clouds, giving users a less obstructed view of Earth. Thanks to additional aerial photos covering 203,271 square kilometers, Microsoft's map service now covers the entirety of the US and 90 percent of Western Europe with pictures taken from aircraft. Armchair cartographers ready to explore the world remotely can find the revamped visuals already baked into Bing Maps online and within the service's Windows 8 app.
Source: Bing Maps Blog
They say you should never learn how the sausage gets made, but we're willing to make an exception for Google Maps. Talking to The Atlantic, Google has revealed just how much the human element figures into all that collected satellite imagery and road data. Many pieces of terrain information are tested and modified against what Google calls Ground Truth: actual driving, alternate sources and sign photos automatically extracted from Street View runs. Google isn't just making the occasional correction, either. Mapping a country can take hundreds of staff plugging away at the company's Atlas tool, even before we get a crack with Google Map Maker. The combination of man and machine helps explain why Google Maps is one of the most accurate sources of location information on Earth -- although the firm does have some catching up to do in space.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
While most Google Earth hobbyists are satisfied with a bit of snapping and geotagging, some have far loftier ambitions. Satellite archaeologist Angela Micol thinks she's discovered the locations of some of Egypt's lost pyramids, buried for centuries under the earth, including a three-in-a-line arrangement similar to those on the Giza Plateau. Egyptologists have already confirmed that the secret locations are undiscovered, so now it's down to scientists in the field to determine if it's worth calling the diggers in.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
3D City View for iOS isn't the only update from the Google Maps and Earth team this week, they've also spruced up their services with new imagery. Fresh high-resolution aerial and satellite photos have been added for a roster of 25 cities and 72 countries or regions, ranging from Antelope Wells, New Mexico to Zimbabwe. In addition, seven international locales and 21 US cities received the 45-degree view treatment, letting you gaze at skylines from a different perspective. The maps are already available, so you can peruse new satellite images of London's Olympic Park and Village just in time for the festivities. For the full list of areas with crisper cartographic visuals, check out the source below.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Compared to Landsat, which has been beaming photos of our planet since 1972, Mountain View is a cartographic newb. But Google Earth drove geospatial interest into the stratosphere when it launched in 2005 and, with a billion downloads and counting, the company is well placed to celebrate 40 years of Landsat imagery. To do that, it has collaborated with the US Geological Survey and Carnegie Mellon to create a collection of timelapse videos ranging from seasonal snowcover changes across North America to Amazon deforestation. Though the search giant is gradually shifting from relatively low-res 100 feet per pixel Landsat imagery to 8 feet SPOTImage maps, its Google Earth Engine was used to process the vast archive and make it available to the public. To watch a video of the history of the grand dame of satellite imagery and its liaison with Google, head after the break -- or check the source for all the timelapse goodness.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Thought that Google had cornered the market on free, overhead-view photo mapping solutions? You clearly don't reside in Redmond, because Bing Maps' aerial image library just got another 165TB worth of hi-res data that covers an additional 38 million square kilometers of the globe. To put that in perspective, Microsoft's mapping solution previously had but 129TB worth of such eye-in-the-sky imagery, so this new batch of satellite shots more than doubles your viewing pleasure. Go ahead, check out all the new visuals at the source link below, we promise not to tell the folks in Mountain View.Permalink | | Email this | Comments