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Prior Art

I’m trying to remember if there has ever been such a tool1.  Google’s patent is for “Updating map data using satellite imagery”:

Map data are overlaid on satellite imagery. A road segment within the map data is identified, and the satellite imagery indicates that the road segment is at a different geographic position than a geographic position indicated by the map data. The endpoints of the road segment in the map data are aligned with the corresponding positions of the endpoints in the satellite imagery. A road template is applied at an endpoint of the road segment in the satellite imagery, and the angle of the road template that matches the angle of the road segment indicated by the satellite imagery is determined by optimizing a cost function. The road template is iteratively shifted along the road segment in the satellite imagery. The geographic position of the road segment within the map data is updated responsive to the positions and angles of the road template.

Now before you get your pitchforks lets look at exactly what Google is proposing here.  This is a computer automated process and not one that most GIS people have ever done.  Read the claims section to learn more about what exactly this process is.  It is interesting that they use TIGER as an example of a dataset that could be improved.

Or…

They could simply donate their map updates to OSM.  Right my bad, TIGER is a great example of a dataset that doesn’t line up with satellite imagery.

  1. No sarcasm 

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Thoughts

Finding a Giant Squid with the ESRI Hurricane Disaster Viewer?

Link – My giant squid

OK, its not really a giant squid, but frankly I can’t really tell what it is either. JM has a couple ideas and any of them could be it. My choice is that it is a Navy CH-46, but I’m not going to bet any money on that.

Esri arcweb squid

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Thoughts

GlobeXplorer Buys AirPhotoUSA

GlobeXplorer Acquires AirPhotoUSA via PubSub

Wow, I know these two had announced a “strategic” agreement back in January so I guess that was the start of something. This probably makes sense in that it strengthens GlobeXplorer in the United States, but I’m a little sad to see a local company get bought.

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Thoughts

Google Earth Increases Resolution of New Orleans Satellite Imagery

Link – New imagery available as VBR network links via Ogle Earth

VBR in Keyhole speak means ViewBasedRefresh network link which appears to be some kind of dynamic layer type. I couldn’t find too much about VBR on Keyhole’s site, does anyone have a better explanation?

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Thoughts

Google Earth Increases Resolution of New Orleans Satellite Imagery

Link – New imagery available as VBR network links via Ogle Earth

VBR in Keyhole speak means ViewBasedRefresh network link which appears to be some kind of dynamic layer type. I couldn’t find too much about VBR on Keyhole’s site, does anyone have a better explanation?

Categories
Thoughts

ArcWeb Services Satellite Imagery Revisited

A couple days ago I posted about how the satellite imagery in AWS was much worse than Google Maps. Andrea Rosso commented that AWS did have much better imagery than Google (though it costs more in credits). I decided to take a look myself using the credits we get from our ESRI Developer Network license to see how my little part of Tempe, AZ looks (I mentioned yesterday that Virtual Earth has really old imagery that doesn’t even show our building). Take a look at the GlobeXplorer Premium US example for my building at work (the grey roofed building in the middle of the image).

aws_sat_image.jpg

That is a great looking image right there. Compare it with the closest Google Map/Earth image below.

google_sat_image.jpg

You can make out my building (yea, I didn’t center it too well), but compared to the detail of the ArcWeb Services it falls short. If high quality satellite imagery is needed, there is no comparison between AWS and Google Maps. Of course this isn’t available for Public AWS, but it does show how you can get more value out of ArcWeb Services if you do choose to do so.

Andrea did say that he though a “coverage map” would be a great idea for a service such as this so you can see if this very high quality imagery is available for your area so maybe we’ll see something for AWS 2005.

Categories
Thoughts

ArcWeb Services Satellite Imagery Revisited

A couple days ago I posted about how the satellite imagery in AWS was much worse than Google Maps. Andrea Rosso commented that AWS did have much better imagery than Google (though it costs more in credits). I decided to take a look myself using the credits we get from our ESRI Developer Network license to see how my little part of Tempe, AZ looks (I mentioned yesterday that Virtual Earth has really old imagery that doesn’t even show our building). Take a look at the GlobeXplorer Premium US example for my building at work (the grey roofed building in the middle of the image).

aws_sat_image.jpg

That is a great looking image right there. Compare it with the closest Google Map/Earth image below.

google_sat_image.jpg

You can make out my building (yea, I didn’t center it too well), but compared to the detail of the ArcWeb Services it falls short. If high quality satellite imagery is needed, there is no comparison between AWS and Google Maps. Of course this isn’t available for Public AWS, but it does show how you can get more value out of ArcWeb Services if you do choose to do so.

Andrea did say that he though a “coverage map” would be a great idea for a service such as this so you can see if this very high quality imagery is available for your area so maybe we’ll see something for AWS 2005.

Categories
Thoughts

Google Maps Goes Hybrid

Just noticed that there is now a new option at Google Maps. In addition to “Map” and “Satellite” there is a new “Hybrid” version which I think works pretty well. You get road names, streets and landmarks right over the top of the satellite image. I didn’t spend too much time looking at how well the roads line up with the satellite images, but they look pretty good from what I saw.

GoogleHybrid