GSPSPOT
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Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Fri May 28, 2010 8:59 pm

Anyone know how often the satellite images that Google maps uses are updated? The pics for most places, as far as I can tell (at least I KNOW for my local area) seem to be at least 2-3 years old. Anyone know how often that sort of thing is updated? I emailed Google days ago, but haven't heard anything.

Also, are there any other free online sources of up to the minute satellite imagery?
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vikkyvik
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Fri May 28, 2010 11:39 pm

Quoting GSPSPOT (Thread starter):
Anyone know how often the satellite images that Google maps uses are updated? The pics for most places, as far as I can tell (at least I KNOW for my local area) seem to be at least 2-3 years old. Anyone know how often that sort of thing is updated? I emailed Google days ago, but haven't heard anything.

I don't know anything for a fact, but everything I've heard/read indicates that 2-3 years old is pretty typical for Google Maps and Google Earth.

Hawthorne Airport's runway got resurfaced/repainted at least a year ago, but that still hasn't been updated in Google Maps and Earth.
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cannibalz3
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Sat May 29, 2010 8:17 am

If you go to http://www.gearthblog.com, they keep close tabs on updates to both Google Earth and Maps.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Sat May 29, 2010 6:55 pm

They update them almost constantly. The problem is, the updates only cover very small parts of the world. Every couple of years they do rather large updates covering whole countries or continents.

Google Earth has the dates shown for when the imagery was taken.
 
Cadet57
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Sat May 29, 2010 8:41 pm

As others have said Google is typically 2-3 years. Until recently for my city it was about 5 years old. Bing maps has much newer and clearer imagery.
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tz757300
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Sat May 29, 2010 10:27 pm

Satellite images are constantly taken for anywhere on Earth everyday, but aren't usually available to the public for a few years (if the images are done by the government. Which..

Quoting GSPSPOT (Thread starter):

Also, are there any other free online sources of up to the minute satellite imagery?

Up-to-minute does not happen since satellites only go over a place on earth maybe once or twice a week. The most recent images will cost $$$$$$$$$$. The center where I'm doing my internship pays big bucks for imagery that is most recent since they cannot produce their own images.
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DAL767400ER
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Sat May 29, 2010 10:37 pm

IIRC, most high-resolution imagery in Google Earth is actually taken via planes rather than satellites. Definitely would love to see more fresh imagery, but like tz757300 said, it costs money.

That said, Google seems to be spending more money on fresh imagery these days, as since November last year they have started to update their database twice monthly instead of once monthly, and some imagery is VERY new. Some cases in point from recent updates:

Atlanta - April 9th, 2010
New Orleans - March 23rd
Nashville - April 13th
Memphis - April 10th

Still rather US-heavy, but hey, the competition from Microsoft is really pushing Google towards more and fresher updates.
 
Cadet985
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Sat May 29, 2010 10:50 pm

I'll phrase it this way about Google Earth. I lived in the "new" dorm in college. It opened in 2004. I just looked it up on Google Earth. It's still pictured as being under construction. So I figure that picture is at least 6.5 years out of date.

Marc
 
TSS
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Sun May 30, 2010 3:04 am

The most up-to-date images I've found are at Terraserver.com.

Pluses:
1. Searchable by address, coordinates, or township;
2. Features a drop-down menu that lists the date of the displayed image AND gives you a choice of older images of the same area to view.

Minuses:
1. Relatively small viewing window;
2. No "smart-scrolling"- If you move the window one micron in any direction or zoom in or out, the entire image has to reload... and it does so very slowly;
3. The oblique/"bird's eye" view images are nowhere near as comprehensive as those on Bing Maps.
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pilotdude09
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Sun May 30, 2010 9:32 am

Australia has a great site:
www.nearmap.com

It is updated monthly and covers the major citys and some major regional centres.
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EMBQA
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Sun May 30, 2010 12:50 pm

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 4):
As others have said Google is typically 2-3 years

I find it to be much longer then that. The image of my parents house still shows my dads truck in the driveway and he passed away 7 years ago, Looking at the trees and area I'm guessing it was taken the fall before he died.. so that's pushing 8 years years old.
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EMBQA
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Sun May 30, 2010 2:46 pm

Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 6):
Nashville - April 13th

Not even close...... The BNA image is shows the Embraer Hangar still under construction... and it's been fully open 4+ years.

Woops.. I stand corrected. The update I was using was an older one. Apr 13 looks about right.

[Edited 2010-05-30 07:53:40]
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varigb707
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Mon May 31, 2010 4:01 pm

Quoting GSPSPOT (Thread starter):
Anyone know how often the satellite images that Google maps uses are updated?

Good question. Is it about security or their technology isn't ready to provide real time images?
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tz757300
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Mon May 31, 2010 4:15 pm

Quoting varigb707 (Reply 12):

Good question. Is it about security or their technology isn't ready to provide real time images?

I'm going to try to explain this as best as possible. Much of the imagery (at least of the US) were collected by National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) that the FDA does every 5 years at a very detailed resolution and people can get access to, such as Google. Now, if anything is updated within those 5 years, a private contribution was probably made by a company for an area they took imagery from or Google bought up-to-date imagery for particular areas, which mainly big cities seem to be the trend in recent updates.

I can try to get into more detail if you'd like, but it really isn't about security or technology (though those limitations can be seen in certain place), it's just about data acquisition.
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TheSonntag
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Mon May 31, 2010 4:22 pm

A good indicator are the west german coal mines (Garzweiler and Hambach). Google images are several years old, you can see villages on them which simply do not exist anymore. There was no change for the last 3 years.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: Up-to-Date Satellite Images?

Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:06 pm

Thanks everyone for the great responses! Downloaded a great aerial of GSP showing the new jet bridges from Terraserver (yes, I'm the worst sort of airline/airport nerd!).
Finally made it to an airline mecca!

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