Keeping Earth up to date and looking great

Keeping Earth up to date and looking great

June 27, 2016

Keeping Earth. 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. 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.Keeping Earth Screen Shot at

Columbia Glacier, Alaska To put that in perspective. 700 trillion pixels is 7,000 times more pixels than the estimated number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Or 70 times more pixels than the estimated number of galaxies in the Universe. Keeping Earth.Keeping Earth Screen Shot at

Detroit, Michigan  To put that in perspective. 700 trillion pixels is 7,000 times more pixels than the estimated number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Or 70 times more pixels than the estimated number of galaxies in the Universe. Keeping Earth. 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. Keeping Earth Screen Shot at

Swiss Alps, Switzerland   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. 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.  More than 700 trillion. individual pixels—to choose the best cloud-free pixels. Keeping Earth thumb

Higher Quality Imagery We mined data from nearly a petabyte of Landsat imagery—that’s more than 700 trillion individual pixels—to choose the best cloud-free pixels.  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.Keeping Earth thumb

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. Keeping Earth Screen Shot atIn the new view of New York City, details like skyscrapers, building shadows, and baseball and softball fields in Central Park shine through.   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.Keeping Earth Screen Shot atToday 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. More than 700 trillion. individual pixels—to choose the best cloud-free pixels.

Keeping Earth Screen Shot atJuly 9, 2000  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.

September 20, 2003

Processing imagery with Earth Engine. 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. 

 

 To produce this new imagery. We used the same publicly available. Earth Engine APIs that scientists use to do things like track global tree cover, loss, and gain; predict Malaria outbreaks; and map global surface water over a 30 year period.

Like our previous mosaic. We mined data from nearly a petabyte of Landsat imagery—that’s. More than 700 trillion. individual pixels—to choose the best cloud-free pixels. To put that in perspective. 700 trillion pixels is 7,000 times more pixels than the estimated number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Or 70 times more pixels than the estimated number of galaxies in the Universe. Keeping Earth.

Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan

Brasilia, Brazil More than 700 trillion. individual pixels—to choose the best cloud-free pixels.

Open data is good for everyone To put that in perspective. 700 trillion pixels is 7,000 times more pixels than the estimated number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Or 70 times more pixels than the estimated number of galaxies in the Universe.

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. Keeping Earth.

Post authored by: Chris Herwig, Program Manager, Google Earth Engine. Keeping Earth earthtopomaps.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

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Keeping Earth up to date and looking great was originally published on Earthtopomaps

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Google Mapping Only clear skies on Google Maps

Google Mapping Only clear skies on Google Maps and Earth

June 26, 2016
To celebrate the sunny days of summer (in the northern hemisphere at least). We’re unveiling new satellite imagery for all Google mapping products today. This stunning new imagery of the earth from space virtually eliminates clouds, includes refreshed imagery for regions of the world where high-resolution imagery is not yet available. And offers a more comprehensive and accurate view of the texture of our planet’s landscape. Google mapping 2

The new, even more beautiful global view in Maps and Earth.

In 2002 NASA released the Blue Marble, a global image of the earth with a resolution of one kilometer per pixel, based on data from NASA’s MODIS instrument. Updated in 2005 to twice the resolution, it has remained the canonical globally-uniform picture of the earth for over a decade.

With the Blue Marble as inspiration, we used Google Earth Engine technology to mine hundreds of terabytes of data from the USGS’s and NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite. The result is a seamless, globally-consistent image of the entire planet with a resolution of 15 meters per pixel, far finer than is possible with MODIS data alone.

To get a feel for the difference, here’s a comparison of the Grand Canyon, first from the Blue Marble Next Generation (courtesy NASA’s Earth Observatory), and then in our new Landsat-based imagery.Google mapping

The Grand Canyon, as seen by MODIS and by Landsat 7.

The Landsat 7 satellite suffered a hardware failure early in its life that introduced striped artifacts into all of its images. By analyzing a large number of images we were able to virtually eliminate these stripes, as well as clouds and other atmospheric effects. The process was very similar to how we produced theglobal time-lapse imagery of the earth that we released last month. Google mapping castellon

Castellón, Spain: One example Landsat 7 image, and the final combined image.

The resulting 800,000 megapixel global image is so big that if you wanted to print it at a standard resolution of 300 dots per inch. You would need a piece of paper the size of a city block! Google mappingGoogle mapping south america

Northwestern South America: before and after.

Mining data from a large number of Landsat images of each area allowed. Us to reconstruct cloud-free imagery even in tropical regions that are always at least partly cloudy. Google mapping papua

Central Papua, Indonesia: before and after.

We prioritized recent data when it was available. So this update also includes refreshed imagery in many regions of the world. Especially in areas where high-resolution imagery is not available. Including parts of Russia, Indonesia, and central Africa. Google mappingGoogle mapping saudi arabia

Agricultural expansion in Saudi Arabia: before and after.

This new picture of the earth also reveals the texture of the landscape with greater clarity than ever before. Google mapping brazil deforestation

Continuing deforestation in Brazil: before and after. Google mapping

We’re proud of the progress we have made, but there is always room to keep improving. For example, although we have tried to minimize the impact of the stripe artifacts in the Landsat 7 images. They are still visible in some areas. There is more good news though: the new Landsat 8 satellite. Launched earlier this year, promises to capture even more beautiful and up-to-date imagery in the months and years ahead.
Google mapping mongolia

Mongolia and surrounds, before and after. Google mapping

You can see our new satellite imagery by going to Google Maps and turning on satellite view. Or by launching Google Earth. And zooming out. Have fun exploring!                                                                                                                                                    

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Google Mapping Only clear skies on Google Maps was originally published on Earthtopomaps

3D trees in the western United States

3D trees in the western United States

3d trees arbres D Arbres bAugust 31, 2011

It’s late summer and many U.S. cities have reported record (or almost record) heat. Are you withering in warmth and longing for some shade under a tree?. Maybe you can’t easily leave for your favorite park but trees are actually closer than you think! We’re happy to announce that we’ve added 3D trees to Google Earth in three new cities: Los Angeles, Denver and Boulder.Typically, when you imagine trees in Los Angeles, you picture the commanding palm trees that line the famous Hollywood avenues or dot the gracious mansions of Beverly Hills. While Palm Trees may dominate the landscape, there are actually many other trees both native and foreign that inhabit the city, such as the California Oak, Black Walnut trees, and California Sycamore (to name a few).

You can now get a glimpse of these trees with the new 3D tree models covering the West Side, including cities like Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood, as well as parts of downtown where the financial district sits. Check out the famous Sunset Boulevard which stretches from the sea at Santa Monica to downtown. Here is where you will find Palm Trees lining glitzy movie posters and billboards that are a marquee signature of the city.

3D trees b treesThere are two species you absolutely can’t forget when talking about trees in Colorado:.  Colorado Blue Spruce and Quaking Aspen

Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles

Or jump to the see more native species like the native Oak tree species in Elylsian Park adjacent to Dodgers Stadium.

D trees b treesLooking at these 3D trees on Google Earth makes me feel like sneezing all of a sudden…3D trees b trees

Elysian Park, Los Angeles It is also the Colorado state tree and a very common tree species seen in the Colorado Foothills.
There are two species you absolutely can’t forget when talking about trees in Colorado:.  Colorado Blue Spruce and Quaking Aspen. Both native to Colorado. Colorado Blue Spruce has a very distinct look for the pale blue of its needles. It is also the Colorado state tree and a very common tree species seen in the Colorado Foothills. Quaking Aspen got its name from fluttering leaves in the breeze. And makes up the famous golden fall foliage of Colorado. Take a walk on Cheeseman Park in Denver or a fly over Boulder and you can tell these trees by their unique colors and shapes.
D trees b treesYou can now get a glimpse of these trees with the new 3D tree models covering the West Side, including cities like Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood, as well as parts of downtown where the financial district sits. Making it feel like it’s still snowing in June (although that could happen in Colorado).3D trees b trees
Cheeseman Park, Denver

There is one other tree species in Colorado deserving a special mention – Cottonwood trees in Boulder. Every late spring, these trees cover Boulder in white cottons. Making it feel like it’s still snowing in June (although that could happen in Colorado). There are several Cottonwoods right by the Google Boulder office that create white blankets of cotton in our garage. And on sidewalks every June and July. Looking at these 3D trees on Google Earth makes me feel like sneezing all of a sudden…

D trees b treesMaybe you can’t easily leave for your favorite park but trees are actually closer than you think! We’re happy to announce that we’ve added 3D trees to Google Earth in three new cities: Los Angeles. Denver and Boulder.Typically. When you imagine trees in Los Angeles, you picture the commanding palm trees that line the famous Hollywood avenues or dot the gracious mansions of Beverly Hills. 3D trees b treesGoogle Office in Boulder, CO earthtopomaps.com

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3D trees in the western United States was originally published on Earthtopomaps

Google Street View Colorado River

Explore America’s most endangered river on Street View

Google Street View Colorado River March 13, 2014
Google Street View Colorado River This guest post is by Chris Williams. Senior Vice President of Conservation at American Rivers. We’ve partnered with American Rivers to share the adventure of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in Google Maps. -Ed.While you admire its grandeur. Remember that the river is also at risk. One of the United States .                                                               It wasn’t until 1869. when John Wesley Powell led a small exploration party on a rafting trip. That the natural wonders of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon came fully into view.google street view colorado river ColoradoRiver

For 6 million years, the Colorado River Google Street View Colorado River has flowed through the heart of the desert southwest, its waters slowly carving out a canyon so vast it can be seen from space—yet so remote it didn’t appear on early maps of the region. It wasn’t until 1869. When John Wesley Powell led a small exploration party on a rafting trip. That the natural wonders of the Colorado River.

Now with Google Street View. You can ride the whitewater rapids, cruise the sleepy river bends. And discover the side canyons that make the Colorado River a treasured resource.
By the time it reaches the Gulf of California in Mexico. Google Street View Colorado River. The river is barely a trickle—.a ghost of its once magnificent self. We’ve partnered with American Rivers to share the adventure of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in Google Maps. -Ed.While you admire its grandeur.

But it’s also one of the most endangered, dammed, diverted and plumbed rivers in the world, thanks to a century of management policies and practices that have promoted the use of Colorado River water at an unsustainable rate.
Start at an iconic spot like Deer Creek Falls or North Canyon, or climb up to the Nankoweap Granaries. Geology fans will enjoy formations like Hermit Shale andTapeats Sandstone. On your journey, look out for wildlife like big horn sheep and signs of a volcanic dam that naturally occurred centuries ago.

While you admire its grandeur. Remember that the river is also at risk. One of the United States’. most important resources. The Colorado River provides drinking water for 36 million people from Denver to Los Angeles. Supports a $26 billion recreation industry. And irrigates nearly 4 million acres of land that grow 15 percent of our nation’s crops. But it’s also one of the most endangered. Dammed. 2

We’re proud to partner with Google. And Street View to raise awareness of the need to protect and restore the river. It’s time to speak up and protect the wonder of the Grand Canyon. And the riches of a healthy Colorado River. Join American Rivers and help us protect and restore this iconic river of the west—for today and for future generations. google street view colorado river ColoradoRiver By the time it reaches the Gulf of California in Mexico, the river is barely a trickle—a ghost of its once magnificent self.                     You can see evidence of the river’s decline In Street View, like the high water mark (showing 1950s driftwood on top of the rock), or sedimentation along the river’s edgedown by Lake Mead.
But it’s also one of the most endangered, dammed, diverted and plumbed rivers in the world, thanks to a century of management policies and practices that have promoted the use of Colorado River water at an unsustainable rate.

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Google Street View Colorado River was originally published on Earthtopomaps

Street View Dubai Drive by Dubai

Street View Dubai Drive by Dubai with Street View

 Street View Dubai December 8, 2014
Dubai is home to the world’s tallest tower. Street View Dubai Largest mall and the planet’s only seven-star hotel. With all these modern wonders, it’s no surprise that Dubai hosted 10 million global visitors last year—and aims to hit a record-breaking 20 million visitors in 2020. Starting today. It can add virtual visitors to that list, as Dubai becomes the first city in an Arab country to be added to Street View in Google Maps. Street View Dubai

Start your tour with a drive on Sheikh Zayed Road. Street View Dubai the longest road in the Emirates that runs in parallel to the coastline. Peer up at the city’s iconic skyscrapers and high-rise towers that. In some cases, reach more than 1,000 feet into the clouds. On one side, you can see the city’s elevated and driverless metro system. earthtopomaps.com

Along Financial Road. Pass Dubai Mall, home to thousands of shops. But with an average of 75 million visitors every year. The mall is more than just a retail space. Inside is a 10 million-liter aquarium — one of the largest suspended tanks in the world. — and a facing it there is a flock of famous dancing fountains.
Street View Dubai earthtopomaps.com
It’s hard to believe that a city not much larger than 4,000. square kilometers has become such a hub of modern culture with more than 200. nationalities mingling daily. As well as a center for trade and tourism in just four short decades. We hope that you’ll be inspired to explore its wonders in person, but until then. They’re just a click away. Street View Dubaistreet view Dubai Screen Shot at
Most of Dubai’s buildings were constructed in the last decade. But if you’re curious to go back to where it all began. vVsit Deira. Here, the great-grandfathers of present-day merchants set up shop. Creating one of the region’s biggest markets and establishing a major link in the time’s global trade routes.
Street View Dubai earthtopomaps.com
street view Dubai Screen Shot at
Finally, no visit of Dubai is complete without touring the Dubai Creek. Known for its fusion of past and present cultures, and its trading connections with countries around and beyond the Arabian Gulf. Along its banks you can see merchant dhows docked and bazaars bustling with silks and spices.
Street View Dubai earthtopomaps.com
It’s hard to believe that a city not much larger than 4,000. square kilometers has become such a hub of modern culture with more than 200 nationalities mingling daily. As well as a center for trade and tourism in just four short decades. But with an average of 75 million visitors every year. The mall is more than just a retail space. But with an average of 75 million visitors every year. The mall is more than just a retail space.street view Dubai Screen Shot at
It’s hard to believe that a city not much larger than 4,000. square kilometers has become such a hub of modern culture with more than 200 nationalities mingling daily. As well as a center for trade and tourism in just four short decades.  

Street View Dubai Drive by Dubai was originally published on Earthtopomaps

Google Earth Blog Earth Topo Maps Overlay

google earth blog CrystalSerenityLivornoGoogle Earth Blog http://www.gearthblog.com The amazing things about Google Earth Wed, 21 Sep 2016 09:59:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.150387158. http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/the-jiangsu-tornado.html. http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/the-jiangsu-tornado.html#respond Wed, 21 Sep 2016 09:59:17 +0000 http://www.gearthblog.com/?p=18681 Although Google has neglected to update ‘historical imagery’ in Google Earth since early June, they have been adding fresh imagery, and when it is reasonably good quality, it goes into the default layer and we can see it. One such instance is a region in Jiangsu Province, China which was struck by a deadly tornado […]. google earth blog NorwegianPearlMiami

The post The Jiangsu tornado appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

1]]> Although Google has neglected to update ‘historical imagery’ in Google Earth since early June, they have been adding fresh imagery, and when it is reasonably good quality, it goes into the default layer and we can see it. According to Wikipedia, the tornado killed at least 99 people and injured 846 others (152 critically).

We found a number of articles showing various photos of the destruction, such as here, here, here and here. But. actually locating the event proved more difficult. We first mapped out the area that had new imagery and started searching through it for signs of damaged buildings, but with an area of nearly 4,000 square kilometres we were not successful. We did find a raised railway under construction. google earth blog NorwegianPearlSeattle And a long trail of destroyed houses that turned out to be planned road construction. The articles either mention major nearby cities or small villages that aren’t marked on the map and couldn’t be found through search. Eventually we found mention of “Danping Village of Chenliang Township” and we were able to find Chenliang. From there, the path of destruction was easy to trace over a distance of around 30 km.

To see the path of the tornado in Google Earth download this KML file.

2

The post Malaysia and Tunisia get 3D appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

]]> Malaysia and Tunisia have recently received their first 3D imagery. Tunis and Sfax in Tunisia and Sungai Petani in Malaysia.But in some cases it is important to get it right. We had a problem with this in the past when we created a script to draw arcs. If we used absolute altitudes the ends of the arcs ended up all at a fixed altitude instead of ground level.

google-earth-blog-hoteldulac

google-earth-blog-hoteldulac

So, to show off the 3D imagery available for US Parks. Including both the new releases and areas that already had 3D (which we looked at last October).

google earth blog HotelduLac

The interesting upside down triangle architecture of the Hôtel du Lac, Tunis.

google-earth-blog-sungaipetani

google-earth-blog-sungaipetani

google earth blog SungaiPetani

Constructions sites are the easiest way to work out the date of 3D imagery. This construction site in Sungai Petani. Malaysia. tells us the 3D imagery was captured since the most recent satellite image from January 2016.

As we have previously mentioned Google appears to be slowing down in terms of new area covered by 3D. However, they are doing a significant amount of updates of existing areas.

google-earth-blog-3dprogresschart

google-earth-blog-3dprogresschart

google earth blog DProgressChart

Note that a few of the most recent finds for this month are not included in the above chart, as we have not yet finished drawing the outlines.

To see the full coverage of 3D imagery in Google Earth and find out what other recent additions there are, download this KML file.

google-earth-blog-york-minster

google-earth-blog-york-minster

Google Earth Blog There are sites such as MarineTraffic for ships and FlightRadar24 for aircraft that let you see real-time data for a significant proportion of the world’s shipping and aircraft. But if you want any historical data it has to be paid for. We have long wanted to get hold of some historical tracks so we can write algorithms to find ships and aircraft in historical imagery. But we have not managed to find any source that provides such tracks free of charge.

google earth blog York Minster

York Minster in York, England.

The post Malaysia and Tunisia get 3D appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

3]]> http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/malaysia-tunisia-get-3d.html/feed 4 18660http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/global-fishing-watch.html http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/global-fishing-watch.html#respond Mon, 19 Sep 2016 10:52:46 +0000 http://www.gearthblog.com/?p=18644 Although it is not directly related to Google Earth, Global Fishing Watch does use geographic ‘big data’. So we thought it would be worth covering. Global Fishing Watch is a partnership between Google, Oceana and SkyTruth, which aims to track the world’s fishing fleets and monitor where they fish. This will help to identify illegal […]

The post Global Fishing Watch appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

4]]> Although it is not directly related to Google Earth, Global Fishing Watch does use geographic ‘big data’. So we thought it would be worth covering. Global Fishing Watch is a partnership between Google, Oceana and SkyTruth, which aims to track the world’s fishing fleets and monitor where they fish. This will help to identify illegal fishing as well as assist in the management of fisheries. Read more about it on Google’s Lat Long blog.

To use it, start here. It requires you to sign up to use it, but the signup process is fast and free. We believe the signup is required because of the sensitivity of the data. And they require you to acknowledge that you realise the data may be inaccurate, among other things. Learn what you can do and how to use it from the tutorial here.

They do not provide an API nor any way to export data to Google Earth. The data can be accessed by their research partners via Google Earth Engine. They state, however, that the underlying ship tracking data is a commercial data-set, so they cannot distribute it freely. We really wish that shipping data and aircraft data could be made available freely, but Global Fishing Watch states that it downloads 20 million data points per day, so whoever is managing the data collection must have significant costs.

google-earth-blog-globalfishingwatch1

google-earth-blog-globalfishingwatch1

Cruise ships represent a significant amount of area and deserve to be mapped, but because they move from place to place this poses an interesting mapping problem.

google earth blog GlobalFishingWatch

We came across this interesting track that follows lines of longitude (every four degrees). And then another ship takes over and continues the pattern further west. Was it doing some research as well as fishing?

The post Global Fishing Watch appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

5]]> http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/global-fishing-watch.html/feed 0 18644 http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/ships-google-earths-3d-imagery.html http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/ships-google-earths-3d-imagery.html#comments Fri, 16 Sep 2016 12:47:18 +0000 http://www.gearthblog.com/?p=18629 We have long had a fascination with cruise ships in Google Earth. Cruise ships represent a significant amount of area and deserve to be mapped, but because they move from place to place this poses an interesting mapping problem. Some time back we had started making a collection of placemarks for various ships in 3D, […]

6]]> We have long had a fascination with cruise ships in Google Earth. Cruise ships represent a significant amount of area and deserve to be mapped, but because they move from place to place this poses an interesting mapping problem.

Some time back we had started making a collection of placemarks for various ships in 3D, but never got around to completing it. In some cases, the name of the vessel can be seen in the imagery, but at other times, identifying it requires a bit of detective work. Yesterday, GEB reader Frank (not Frank Taylor), who also contributes outlines for our 3D imagery KML, sent us a collection of placemarks for cruise ships and ferries in 3D, which was much more comprehensive than ours. So, we have combined it with our collection and are providing it here in case our readers are interested.

Grab the collection here. We have implemented it as a network link and may update it over time, but do not guarantee that we will have time to do a lot of regular maintenance.

We found that a few of the placemarks we had created in the past no-longer have cruise ships at those locations. Also interesting is that some of the cruise ships in the imagery have since been sold and renamed or in some cases, such as the Sky Wonder, have since been scrapped.

A number of cruise ships appear more than once in the 3D imagery. For example:

google-earth-blog-norwegianpearlseattle

google-earth-blog-norwegianpearlseattle

Some time back we had started making a collection of placemarks for various ships in 3D, but never got around to completing it. In some cases, the name of the vessel can be seen in the imagery, but at other times, identifying it requires a bit of detective work. Yesterday, GEB reader Frank (not Frank Taylor), who also contributes outlines for our 3D imagery KML, sent us a collection of placemarks for cruise ships and ferries in 3D, which was much more comprehensive than ours. So, we have combined it with our collection and are providing it here in case our readers are interested.

google earth blog NorwegianPearlSeattle

Norwegian Pearl, in Seattle (west coast of the US).

The post Cloudy places are hard to photograph from space appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

10]]> In yesterday’s post we talked about Landsat imagery and how in some locations there are only a few cloud-free images per year. That was not entirely accurate, as there are some places where it is practically impossible to find a cloud-free Landsat image.

We were recently exploring the north-western area of Colombia (looking for circular islands). And noticed that the imagery there is of particularly poor quality. Most of Choco Province, Colombia, has no high resolution satellite imagery and instead uses the global mosaic. created from Landsat imagery. To make the global mosaic, Google took Landsat imagery captured over multiple years and searched for cloud-free pixels to use in the final mosaic. However, when we looked at the region with our Landsat animations KML. we found 49 images captured over the last three years. But they all had significant cloud cover.

google-earth-blog-abstractart

google-earth-blog-abstractart

google earth blog AbstractArt

Some areas look like abstract art. Another place with a similar problem – year round cloud cover – is the rainforest belt of Central Africa. In some places, Google has had to use Landsat 7 imagery, which we can see because of its characteristic stripes due to a faulty component on the Landsat 7 satellite.

google-earth-blog-riverknot

google-earth-blog-riverknot

3D imagery is above the default terrain, so intuitively one would expect relative altitudes to move upwards when you turn on.

google earth blog riverknot

We are not sure whether the above effect is due to just cloud cover. Seasonal changes in the water levels or the fact that the water colour changes over the seasons.

For an understanding of which parts of the globe have the most cloud cover, see this animation from NASA. Note that it is not images of clouds. But rather maps of the average amount of cloud cover over a month. We could not find a version for longer periods to find out which locations have near-permanent cloud cover.

Another place with a similar problem – year round cloud cover – is the rainforest belt of Central Africa. In some places, Google has had to use Landsat 7 imagery, which we can see because of its characteristic stripes due to a faulty component on the Landsat 7 satellite.

google-earth-blog-landsatstripes

google-earth-blog-landsatstripes

Because we cannot smooth them out without knowing what the ground altitude is at each point.

google earth blog LandsatStripes

Landsat 7 stripes.

The post Cloudy places are hard to photograph from space appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

11]]> http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/cloudy-places-hard-photograph-space.html/feed 0 18603http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/land-lost-vs-land-gained.html http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/land-lost-vs-land-gained.html#comments Tue. 13 Sep 2016 11:20:45 +0000 http://www.gearthblog.com/?p=18587 We recently came across this interesting article by National Geographic about a recent study of land/water changes over the last 30 years. The study is by researchers at the Deltares Research Institute, who used Google Earth Engine to gather and process the data. The data itself comes from Landsat imagery. Sadly, we were not able […] google earth blog NorwegianPearlMiami

The post Land lost vs. land gained appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

12]]> We recently came across this interesting article by National Geographic about a recent study of land/water changes over the last 30 years. The study is by researchers at the Deltares Research Institute, who used Google Earth Engine to gather and process the data. The data itself comes from Landsat imagery.

Sadly, we were not able to figure out a way to view the data in Google Earth. Was notable for being able to easily display maps in Google Earth. This is a pity, because we find Google Earth a much better platform for exploring this kind of data.

Nature Climate Change,. However, the data itself is published as a publicly available 2D map.

Most inland water bodies are quite seasonal, so we wonder how the researchers corrected for that. The Landsat imagery typically covers each spot on earth once every 16 days. This often means only a few good images per year. For the global mosaic used in Google Earth, many different images over multiple years are combined together to get the cloud-free image. But can vary considerably from year to year (more on this in a future post) This doesn’t apply to coastal land reclamation, which tends to be permanent.

google-earth-blog-koreareclaimedland

google-earth-blog-koreareclaimedland

The difference between relative altitudes and absolute altitudes is not always obvious. But in some cases it is important to get it right. We had a problem with this in the past when we created a script to draw arcs. If we used absolute altitudes the ends of the arcs ended up all at a fixed altitude instead of ground level. The eventual solution that we came up with was to use absolute altitudes and read the end point altitudes from Google’s Elevation API.

google earth blog KoreaReclaimedLand

Land reclamation near Seoul, South Korea, as seen in Aqua Monitor.

We have previously created animations of land reclamation and artificial islands being built. But we restricted ourselves to the time-frame visible in Google Earth historical imagery. Rather than the 30 years used in the above study. google earth blog riverknot

The post Land lost vs. land gained appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

13]]> http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/land-lost-vs-land-gained.html/feed 1 18587http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/remembering-911-google-earth-2.htmlhttp://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/remembering-911-google-earth-2.html#respond Mon, 12 Sep 2016 11:27:40 +0000http://www.gearthblog.com/?p=18571 We have done a number of posts in past years covering various aspects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent rebuilding of the World Trade Center, so today we will only be looking at some of the most recent changes. If you go to the site of the World Trade Center in Google Earth, […]

The post Remembering 9/11 with Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

14]]> We have done a number of posts in past years covering various aspects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent rebuilding of the World Trade Center, so today we will only be looking at some of the most recent changes.

If you go to the site of the World Trade Center in Google Earth, and turn off the 3D buildings layer.

2016. and shows 3 World Trade Center nearing completion. According to Wikipedia, the concrete core is now at its maximum height. We previously created a Street View slideshow showing the changes that have taken place over the years. We have updated it with the most recent imagery below.

google-earth-blog-wtc1

google-earth-blog-wtc1

Because we cannot smooth them out without knowing what the ground altitude is at each point. Oddly enough, this contradicts what it says on this page. Which states that Google Earth uses absolute altitudes for tours precisely because of the problems we are experiencing.

google earth blog WTC

Speed in milliseconds per image: World Trade Center 2 in the corner opposite the pools. And World Trade Center 5 on an adjacent block. See Wikipedia for more.

The post Remembering 9/11 with Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

15]]> http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/remembering-911-google-earth-2.html/feed 0 18571http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/weird-altitude-effects-google-earth.html http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/weird-altitude-effects-google-earth.html#comments Fri, 09 Sep 2016 11:54:35 +0000 http://www.gearthblog.com/?p=18559 Yesterday we made some Google Earth tours of various US parks. We recorded the tours using Google Earth’s built in ‘Record a tour’ button on the tool bar. And then navigating with a SpaceNavigator 3D mouse. Everything seemed fine until we played back the tours and found that some of them have bumps in them […]

The post Weird altitude effects in Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog. earthtopomaps.com

16]]> Yesterday we made some Google Earth tours of various US parks. We recorded the tours using Google Earth’s built in ‘Record a tour’ button on the tool bar and then navigating with a SpaceNavigator 3D mouse. Everything seemed fine until we played back the tours and found that some of them have bumps in them and occasionally some have quite severe up and down jitter. We found that these effects were actually part of the tours as they would occur in the same place when played again.

Thus Google Earth recorded the wrong altitudes when recording the tour. And when playing it back new altitude data is available. So it looks wrong. After much investigation. We do believe that is the main cause of the problem, but that there are other issues as well. google earth blog York Minster

We thought it would be interesting to try and fix the tours by using some maths to smooth out the altitudes. However. Smoothing them out may be difficult or impossible. Google Earth can store altitudes in two basic ways: relative to the ground (or sea floor). or an absolute measurement (from sea level). A third option is to leave out the altitudes and have objects automatically clamp to the ground level.

Because we cannot smooth them out without knowing what the ground altitude is at each point. Oddly enough, this contradicts what it says on this page. Which states that Google Earth uses absolute altitudes for tours precisely because of the problems we are experiencing.

As we noted in this post. when viewing areas with 3D, Google Earth shows the altitudes from the 3D imagery in the status bar. Or whether it uses the 3D imagery where available. What we found was surprising.

Typically. 3D imagery is above the default terrain, so intuitively one would expect relative altitudes to move upwards when you turn on. 3D imagery. What happens is the opposite. They move downwards. This is because.

The two scenes below illustrate what happens. In both cases we have some lines set to a fixed height relative to the ground:

17 August month-end post we mentioned that Monument Valley, Arizona / Utah was now in 3D in Google Earth. Several other US parks also received 3D imagery at the same time. What we didn’t realise at the time was the reason why. Google added 3D for several US parks at the end of August. It was because the US National Park Service celebrated its hundredth birthday on August 25, 2016. earthtopomaps.com

So, to show off the 3D imagery available for US Parks. Including both the new releases and areas that already had 3D (which we looked at last October). We have created some Google Earth tours, which you can view in Google Earth with this KML file. We have also recorded a select few of them in the YouTube video below:

Note that we haven’t created tours for every US park that has 3D. We have included outlines for the parks we know about that have 3D. If you notice we have missed any, please let us know in the comments.

For a map of all areas, not just US parks, that have 3D use this KML file.

The post US National Parks in 3D for centenary appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

18]]> http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/us-national-parks-in-3d-for-centenary.html/feed 3 18544 7]]> http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/ships-google-earths-3d-imagery.html/feed 2 18629http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/worldview-4-skysat-launches.html http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2016/09/worldview-4-skysat-launches.html#comments Thu, 15 Sep 2016 11:14:57 +0000 http://www.gearthblog.com/?p=18614 The next couple of days will see two significant launches for satellite imaging.                                                       The post Ships in Google Earth’s 3D imagery appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Crystal Serenity in Livorno, Italy.

If you are interested in collections of ships visible in 2D imagery, be sure to check out the Google Earth Community transport collections.

The post Ships in Google Earth’s 3D imagery appeared first on Google Earth Blog.                                                                                                       Which have a resolution of 3-5 m per pixel. It is also better resolution than the best imagery Google Earth currently has for some locations, so we hope Google considers using Terra Bella imagery to fill in the gaps in Google Earth.

Which have a resolution of 3-5 m per pixel. It is also better resolution than the best imagery Google Earth currently has for some locations, so we hope Google considers using Terra Bella imagery to fill in the gaps in Google Earth.                                                                                                               This is not as good as WorldView-4’s 30 cm per pixel, but is better than Planet Lab’s Dove satellites.                                                                                  Norwegian Pearl, in Miami (east coast of the US). earthtopomaps.com     

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Google Earth Blog Earth Topo Maps Overlay was originally published on Earthtopomaps

View College Basketball Shooting for three

view-college-basketball-091615statehoopsView College Basketball Shooting for three: Keeping up with the Madness

Also, teaming up with a few other March Madness enthusiasts. For all the times when I can’t be planted in front of my television watching the action. (or during those pesky commercial breaks). these tools will keep my head in the game!


View College Basketball Shooting for three: Keeping up with the Madness

 

View College Basketball

Therefore I’ve embarked on mythird.This My Map also shows you all the key locations for the Madness, color-coded for your viewing pleasure.consecutive. journey into mapping the NCAA College Basketball tournament. This may have caused a bit of personal March madness – a lot of long nights. And triple-checking each arena placemark – but I hope you’ll enjoy the result. I’ve made a Google Earth KMZ file that includes the home arenas of the field of 65, and the 14 tournament venues. Each entry in the field of 65 is color coded by region and the game sites have a special basketball icon this year.Also, teaming up with a few other March Madness enthusiasts, we’ve created a page,google.com/collegebasketball2010, where all of you basketball fans can find additional Google tools to help you track the tournament.You can also see real time search results so you never miss any March Madnessnews or chatter.

View College Basketball You may wonder why I’ve kept this up for three years  well, aside from the fundamental fact that I’m a college hoops nut. Where all of you basketball fans can find additional Google tools to help you track the tournament. View College Basketball I just so happen to also love seeing the geo-spatial distribution of the teams. The research and compliation of the information led me to several interesting facts you can see for yourself in the layer and then use to wow your friends, such as:.Today, the wonderful chaos that is March Madness returns, and with it, comes abrand new college basketball KML like the one I built last year.

  • There are two first-round matchups that pit two teams which have the same mascots
  • Bears, Eagles, Gophers, Grizzlies, and Lions have a common trait: they are all ‘Golden’
  • This year’s tournament is quite colorful: Blue Devils, Mean Green, Orangemen, Big Red, and Yellow Jackets

 View College Basketball this My Map also shows you all the key locations for the Madness. Color-coded for your viewing pleasure. The East division is indicated by a blue pin; South with green; Midwest with red; and West with cyan. The pins with a dot in the center tell you who the #1 seeds are:

Mapping the Madness returns

March 19, 2009
Today, the wonderful chaos that is March Madness returns, and with it, comes abrand new college basketball KML like the one I built last year. To celebrate this annual moment of basketball bliss, I’ve added the locations of this year’s 13 tournament venues. In addition to the locations of the 65 tournament teams’ campuses.Why, you might ask, did I decide to burn the midnight oil again to map these locations? Because I’m a a die-hard college hoops nut, plain and simple. As you’re watching the games over the next few weeks, take a minute during a break in the action to do some March Madness geo-browsing and see if you can find these spots in Google Earth:
  • A tournament venue with an airplane silhouette on top of it
  • The tournament team based in Moon Township, PA
  • The two tournament teams that play in arenas that have their school logos on the roofs

I’ve also included these placemarks on a My Map – check it out:

Tournament 2010 in a larger map earthtopomaps.com


Also, teaming up with a few other March Madness enthusiasts, we’ve created a page google.com/collegebasketball2010 View College Basketball Where all of you basketball fans can find additional Google tools to help you track the tournament. Travel to the tournament without leaving home! All 14 arenas are in the “3D Buildings” layer in Google Earth. Ready for you to explore. Take a tour of these 3D models by watching the video below or download this kml tour and open it in Google Earth 5 Google Earth KMZ file. Be sure to check out the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City — even the court is modeled.



 
Also, teaming up with a few other March Madness enthusiasts.  We’ve created a page google.com/collegebasketball2010 Where all of you basketball fans can find additional Google tools to help you track the tournament. Keep up with your favorite teams and get up-to-date information on scores, schedules, and brackets with our iGoogle gadgetBy doing a quick search for your favorite team  you can see
live scores.. If you haven’t already made a bracket. Check out our Google docs tournament.bracket template to help you create and manage your pool in an online spreadsheet you can also see real time search results so you never miss any March Madness news or chatter! Google Earth KMZ file

For all the times when I can’t be planted in front of my television watching the action. (or during those pesky commercial breaks). these tools will keep my head in the game!

View College Basketball Shooting for three was originally published on Earthtopomaps

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