Google Earth Just Got Even More Powerful. Here’s How It Can Help You Plan Your Next Adventure.

For the first time since 2013, Google has updated its satellite imagery of planet earth. The new images have more detail and truer colors, giving civilians more data than has ever been available.

Google Earth works by analyzing trillions of pixels worth of satellite images, selecting the clearest, cloud-free ones, then stitching them all together into one seamless image of the planet. Pause for a second and consider what a technical achievement that is. Just one generation ago, we didn’t even have complete maps for the earth. Now you can scroll across every inch of it in high-resolution.

The previous iteration of Google Earth was powered by images from the Landsat 7, which was launched way back in 1999 and photographed the earth with a pixel size of 30 meters. That satellite suffered a hardware failure in 2003, resulting in large diagonal gaps of missing data in the imagery it produced. Now we’re seeing images from Landsat 8, which was launched in 2013, and has a pixel size of 15 meters, in addition to other improved capabilities.

In addition to topographic and trail maps, it helps me assess conditions on the ground with far more information. I can see the location, density, and types of trees, for instance, as well as the presence of tracks and trails that may not be included on traditional maps.

Learn more here…


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