We’ll be releasing the new Antarctica imagery as part of our MapBox Satellite layer in the coming weeks.

Don Juan Pond Don Juan Pond, with mountains from the Asgard Range to the left, Antarctica (latitude -77.208, longitude: 164.641)

Antarctica Updated Imagery

Melting ice between Masson Island and Mill Island (latitude: -65.395, longitude: 99.362)

Antarctica Updated Imagery Antarctica coast off of Prydz Bay (latitude: -68.540, latitude: 79.329)

This work is part of our larger MapBox Satellite upgrades in the works, we are updating our coverage of Antarctica – adding significantly higher-resolution pansharpened Landsat imagery.

Antarctica Mosaic

New seamless, natural color mosaic

Beautiful, Empty Land

The fifth-largest continent, with a total area of approximately 14 million square km, of which just 280,000 square km are ice-free, Antarctica has a population that ranges from about 1,000 in the winter months, to around 5,000 for the summer months – its busiest months.

Despite its sparse population, and being largely – almost entirely – uninhabitable, Antarctica is beautiful, and we are excited to let our users explore Antarctica with our new 15 meter pansharpened, natural color imagery.

Before and After | MapBox Antarctica

*Before and After of MapBox Satellite Antarctica coverage Left shows previous coverage; right shows new imagery. (latitude: -77.140, longitude: 165.793)*

About the Data

The new Antarctica imagery was made possible thanks to the smart investments in remote sensing by the U.S. Geological Survey, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the British Antarctic Survey. Created in support of the International Polar Year (2007-2008), the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) provides a cloud-free mosaic of the continent down to latitude -82.5 degrees produced from over 1,000 Landsat 7 ETM+ scenes.

Due to Landsat 7’s near-polar orbit, the LIMA mosaic does not contain imagery for latitudes below -82.5 degrees.

Antarctic color

LIMA Mosaic, showing gap at pole from contraints of Landsat’s near-polar orbit

For latitudes lower than -82.5, we’ve supplemented the LIMA Mosaic with the MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica (MOA), provided by the University of Minnesota’s Polar Geospatial Center.

OpenStreetMap contribution stats for Antarctica help add context. At the time of publishing, there were a total of 15,698,084 changesets made to OpenStreetMap’s coverage world-wide, of which 1,216 coincide with the continent of Antarctica. Compared to the 326,863 unique users who have contributed to OpenStreetMap world-wide, just 159 unique users have contributed to its coverage of Antarctica.