Imagery in 2021

Reviewing imagery improvements and announcing our latest updates

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Dec 23, 2021

Imagery in 2021

Reviewing imagery improvements and announcing our latest updates


No items found.


Dec 23, 2021

In 2021, we brought realistic views of the Earth to the forefront by combining imagery and terrain in GL JS v2. Launched just over a year ago and bolstered immediately after with our largest ever imagery update, it set the stage for the incredible 3D visualizations we’ve seen this year. Before we look back at the various updates and improvements made in 2021, we’re excited to announce new aerial imagery for Spain and Luxembourg.

Córdoba, Spain

The Luxembourg imagery comes from the Cadastre and Topography Administration, and the Spain imagery is provided by the Instituto Geográfico Nacional

European Parliament administrative offices, Luxembourg

These most recent imagery updates close off a year in which we added over 1,000,000 square kilometers of aerial imagery in Europe. Read on below to see other highlights of imagery improvements we made in 2021.

Coast to Coast, Updated 50 cm Satellite Imagery for the US

This addition put the finishing touches on our global update made at the end of 2020. By adding consistent, recent 50 cm imagery across the country, developers from Maine to California (and Alaska and Hawaii) were able to create apps with greater context and visual references than ever before.

Mount Katahdin, ME

New Aerial Imagery for the US

At the end of January, we released a layer containing 2018-2019 NAIP aerial imagery over the contiguous United States. This imagery is collected on a 3-year cycle, and provides full coverage of the lower 48 states during the growing season. Customers interested in using this imagery can add the mapbox.naip tileset to their maps.

Center pivot irrigation on the Texas-New Mexico state line

30+ Meter Update for Seamless 3D Terrain

We used 50 cm imagery from our global update to replace our previous Landsat imagery to provide a better 3D experience. By downsampling the resolution of Maxar’s Vivid product and blending it with low-resolution MODIS imagery, we eliminated a transition between imagery sources and delivered a more realistic 3D experience.

Seamless transition from medium to high resolution imagery of Mt. Fuji

New Imagery for the Netherlands and Switzerland

We added 25 cm imagery covering all of the Netherlands and 10 cm imagery covering Switzerland at the start of the summer. These additions were the first of 9 European countries receiving updates in 2021.

Fort Bourtange, Netherlands

New aerial imagery for France and Portugal

We benefited from amazing imagery being released from IGN France that let us complete our coverage of France that we started in 2020. Similarly, SNIG in Portugal provided full country coverage which we made available in August.

Overlooking Grenoble, France

New aerial imagery for Germany and Austria

In September, we added imagery covering 6 German States and 3 areas of Austria. All imagery was collected at 20 cm with areas as recently updated as June 2021.

Vienna Central Cemetery, Austria

Updated 50 cm imagery covering Israel and Palestine

In October, we added new, high resolution imagery over Israel to our map for the first time. Until last year, US companies were restricted to provide no greater than 2 meter resolution imagery over the area. When the law changed, we worked with our partner, Maxar, to get the latest 50 cm imagery available.

Potash evaporation ponds, Israel

Realistic 3D experiences with terrain updates

Updating our global terrain layer delivered a more realistic 3D experience, with imagery draped over our elevation data. The higher accuracy is especially useful in mountainous terrain by providing better detail for both imagery and hillshade applications.

Mount Thor, Nunavut, Canada

Looking ahead to 2022, we will continue to add high resolution, recent imagery for our most in-demand areas, and expand our raster serving capabilities to deliver new services and more realistic views of the Earth.

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