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Google updates Maps and Earth with 800,000 megapixels

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Google announced today that they have updated their popular Google Maps and Google Earth with 800,000 megapixels of new imagery.

Google announced today that they have updated their popular Google Maps and Google Earth with 800,000 megapixels of new imagery (image: Google)

“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,” wrote Matt Hancher, Tech Lead for Google Earth Engine in a blog post.

The company explained that the Landsat 7 satellite suffered a hardware failure, which resulted in some areas and images not being captured correctly, but with the new Landsat-based imagery were able to fix all affected areas.

“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!” they said.

Not only does the new images cover undocumented areas, but it also includes updated imagery from many parts of the world, including central Africa.

“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.”

But the company is already working on new imagery for even better clarity in the future. “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.”

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor

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