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Google new improves higher-resolution imagery to Earth and Maps from Landsat 8 satellite

Google improves the satellite imagery on services like Earth and Maps few months ago. Now, as part of its efforts to keep making the experience better for users, the search giant is going to offer higher-resolution virtual views going forward. You'll now notice sharper imagery of areas around the world, thanks to the latest data from the Landsat 8 satellite and "new processing techniques" that Google's implementing.

Based on one of the examples from the company (pictured below), you're able to tell the difference right away. Everything is less blurry from afar. You can see more places for yourself on Google Earth, or by checking out the satellite option on Google Maps.


In the new view of New York City, details like skyscrapers, building shadows, and baseball and softball fields in Central Park shine through.

Three years ago we introduced a cloud-free mosaic of the world in Google Earth. Today we’re rolling out an even more beautiful and seamless version, with fresh imagery from Landsat 8 satellite and new processing techniques for sharper images than ever before. Satellite images are often cloudy, but not always over the same place, so we looked at millions of images and took the clearest pixels to stitch together this cloud-free and seamless image.

Our previous mosaic used imagery from Landsat 7 only, which at the time was the best imagery of its kind. Unfortunately, Landsat 7 images captured after 2003 were affected by a hardware failure, resulting in large diagonal gaps of missing data You can see this effect in the subsets of two Landsat 7 images captured over Oklahoma City, OK, in 2000 and 2003. 
Landsat 8, which launched into orbit in 2013, is the newest sensor in the USGS/NASA Landsat Program—superior to its predecessors in many ways. Landsat 8 captures images with greater detail, truer colors, and at an unprecedented frequency—capturing twice as many images as Landsat 7 does every day. This new rendition of Earth uses the most recent data available -- mostly from Landsat 8 -- making it our freshest global mosaic to date.

Open data is good for everyone
This update was made possible in a large part thanks to the Landsat program and its commitment to free and accessible open data. Landsat, a joint program of the USGS and NASA, has observed the Earth continuously from 1972 to the present day and offers a wealth of information on the changes to the Earth's surface over time. And it's all available in Earth Engine!


The new imagery is now available across all our mapping products. To check it out, open up Google Earth, or turn on the satellite layer in Google Maps.

Source: Google,


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