Open Aerial: The Data Behind MapBox Satellite
Powering a satellite map layer with public, open data sets
Aerial imagery is an incredible public resource used by scientists, engineers, researchers, and policy makers. MapBox Satellite is powered by raw imagery from multiple sources that is then processed by MapBox using open source tools.
All the data you're about to see is free, open, and if you're a U.S. taxpayer, available thanks to you.
A collaboration between USGS and NASA, Landsat satellites capture imagery in the visible and infrared wavelengths typically used by scientists for research. The detail in Landsat data is suitable for lower zoom levels of aerial maps.
The National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP), administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency in coordination with state and local government actors, provides "leaf on" imagery of the entire continental United States. Originally meant for analyzing crop growth, NAIP imagery has definition suitable for high zoom levels of aerial maps.
High Resolution Orthoimagery (HRO) imagery is collected and used by FEMA, Homeland Security, and many other agencies for disaster preparedness and recovery. This extremely high resolution data shows details suited for the highest zoom levels of aerial maps. We will begin adding HRO to MapBox Satellite in 2013.
Whether for civil engineering, disaster relief, or powering the latest social media app, open data can be a driving force behind innovation and growth.
MapBox is committed to making the best open aerial imagery available to users as part of MapBox Satellite and ensuring a future where public imagery programs play a key role in providing this data infrastructure.— Dec 06 2012