Tuesday 5 March 2013

Bing Maps updated with high-res imagery covering 13,799,276 sq km

Bing Maps is revamped and now includes bathymetry data from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, as per an official post on the Bing Maps Blog. There's also new base satellite imagery by TerraColor. The imagery is of a resolution of 15 metres per pixel. Additionally, the new Top of the World imagery, the post claims, is visible from zoom levels 1-13. "Zooming in deeper will reveal our high resolution satellite imagery," it adds.

There's now a new base satellite layer – analysed and processed to give views with less cloud cover in areas known for such cloud cover, eg. high latitude and equatorial regions. The maps also include bathymetric imagery. In the maps, the ocean floor topography is represented by colour shading – dark blues to light blues, depicting variations in ocean depth. The post explains, "An ocean mask minimizes areas typically obscured by ice and clouds." This combination, that of ocean mask and bathymetric imagery, offers a "more meaningful view of the world oceans".

Also included in the revamp is high resolution satellite imagery covering an area of 13,799,276 sq km. The latest release of Global Ortho imagery includes 203,271 sq km of new data, and in all there is 11,001,500 sq km, covering 100 percent of the United States and 90 percent of Western Europe.

Last year in June, Bing introduced a staggering 165TB of new imagery to Bing Maps. Back then, Bing added that it was larger than all of its previous aerial releases put together. Part of Bing's latest aerial release was the new satellite imagery as well as Global Ortho photography. Bing revealed that its previous "Aerial footprint" was 129TB in all. The combined new data release of 165TB, hence, was understandably a huge leap. The new release gave users an aerial view of regions across – North America, South America, Africa, Australia, Europe and Asia. The total area covered in that data release was nearly 38 million square kilometres.

Bing added, "As of today the Global Ortho project is 85 percent acquired and published. Just this month, Bing Imagery Technologies hit a significant milestone by completing 100 percent of aerial photography over the United States. The photography in Europe is slated to be finished by this fall and all updated imagery should be published by the end of 2012."

Some of the regions included in the latest release are:

Taipei, Taiwan
Santiago, Chile
Mexico City, Mexico
St. Petersburg, Russia
Giza, Egypt
Jaipur, India
Namib Desert, Namibia
Fritz Cove, Juneau, Alaska
Long Island, Folly Beach, South Carolina
Choptank River, Dorchester County, Maryland
Laguna del Camino de Villafranca, Castile-La Mancha, Spain
Teatro Massimo, Palermo, Italy
Monte Grappa, Vicenza, Italy
École Polytechnique Fédérale, Lausanne, Switzerland

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