OpenStreetMap

Updates to DigitalGlobe imagery layers

Posted by @kevin_bullock on 28 June 2019 in English (English)

DigitalGlobe, now Maxar [1], is transitioning the OpenStreetMap imagery endpoints (from “DigitalGlobe Standard” to “Maxar Standard”; and from “DigitalGlobe Premium” to “Maxar Premium”). OSM users should see content parity between the old and the new layers by June 30, 2019. Starting July 1, 2019, there will be only two Maxar layers available from within the OSM editors – labeled with Beta.

Our new imagery services use http/2 protocol. Please note that there are some known speed issues with the JOSM editor. A JOSM plugin for http/2 support is expected before the end of July (ticket #17861). In the meantime, increasing the concurrent connections (e.g. to 20) will help. iD editor already supports http/2.

The good news: imagery will be more recent and more frequently updated with our latest Maxar mosaic content. We hope that our improved production processes (bundle block adjustment, atmospheric compensation, continuous updates, etc.) will benefit OSM contributors.

As always, thanks to everyone within OSM for all your support and feedback. Shout out to the maintainers and contributors for iD and JOSM who have been fantastic to work with. Look for Maxar at State of the Map and State of the Map US; we will be attending and presenting more information on this new image service. And please feel free to send us feedback. Happy editing!

[1] https://www.maxar.com/

Comment from Omnific on 28 June 2019 at 23:04

Thank you for all your contributions! DigitalGlobe access has been an incredible asset to the OSM community.

Comment from @kevin_bullock on 28 June 2019 at 23:17

Appreciate the feedback Omnific!

Comment from AkuAnakTimur on 29 June 2019 at 04:28

Thank you Maxar/DigitalGlobe for sharing the imageries! Are there any channel to submit feedbacks e.g. a small patch of cloudy area in my area of editing interest?

Comment from ndrw6 on 1 July 2019 at 08:22

Thank you, I’ve been using your imagery for a while now, good stuff. Some places have been updated for the first time since 15 years. It immediately rendered my GPX traces obsolete.

Could you shine some light on image quality (resolution/clarity) and alignment? I would like to understand what the limiting factors are (e.g. technology, licensing) and if there is a short or long-term improvement expected. For example, imagery at google.com or even bing.com(!) is clearer, sometimes a lot clearer, than what I see in jOSM.

Comment from Zverik on 2 July 2019 at 13:01

Thanks for the update, Kevin! In some cities currently DG Premium has more recent imagery than any of the Maxar layers. I hope the latter will be updated soon :)

Comment from @kevin_bullock on 2 July 2019 at 16:07

AkuAnaktimor - sure, please send a coordinate!

ndrw6 - the resolution of our satellites range from 30cm-50cm per pixel. This is amongst the best resolution available via satellite. The reason why there are higher resolution images on Google or Bing is because they are also using aerial surveys in places like the US and Europe. Due to the lower flying aircraft, they can resolve a better resolution.

Zverik - we should have parity or better soon, or hopefully now. Feel free to send a specific location if you see this issue persist.

Thanks all for the feedback!

Comment from 4004 on 2 July 2019 at 21:49

Thanks for the very welcome updates Kevin! One day I’ll hopefully start actually purchasing small areas of your imagery, but will enjoy it in osm for now

Comment from freebeer on 3 July 2019 at 11:52

NDR-w6, additional higher resolution images can be seen in the us from mapbox in some locations, which have trickled up to one of the dg layers in the past in pixellated form. also, esri as a collective of at least hundreds of sources ranges from dg-matching imagery to much higher resolution (i think i saw native z23 details in a small part of us state hawaii). the esri clarity layer is about a decade old but matches what bing used to offer from aerial overflights.

then of course there are localised regional offerings that can be much better with pixel resolution to a handful of cm.

as i do not know your area of mapping interest, i give generic guidelines here based on my experience. as always, it is a compromise whether the ``best’’ (i think these quotes will get swallowed) imagery layer should be the newest, or the clearest.

thanks kevin, i almost always cycle through all tms imageries available for my worldwide mis-mapping and the wide choice you offer is much appreciated.

Comment from angys on 4 July 2019 at 09:55

Like what AkuAnaktimor said, some of the imagery are cloudy. Hope MAXAR can update for it and adjust the imagery into right position as now most of the imagery coverage in Malaysia has a big offset compared to older DG Premium imagery. Cloudy area in Malaysia need to replace with a crispy imagery Bahau, Negeri Sembilan 2.81017,102.39802 Seremban, NS 2.72855, 101.95497

Comment from erickdeoliveiraleal on 5 July 2019 at 15:28

where I can change concurrent connections?

Comment from HeyItsAdam on 7 July 2019 at 20:33

Both of my region’s premium / standard imagery are the same. My assumption is that the premium imagery is only in select locations?

Comment from iriman on 18 July 2019 at 11:55

Thank you for your great work. I’m from Iran and now in compare with previous DG imagery many more areas have a more recent and clear imagery!

BTW there is a misalignment about 8m that shows itself on top of the bridge at 34.09814158102221, 49.72359001100064.

Comment from Baloo Uriza on 30 July 2019 at 17:30

Can we get some better alignment and resolution on the latest Maxar imagery? Not only is it not lined up, but the way that it’s out of alignment varies quite wildly over distances as short as 100m, and at resolutions that make it impossible to make out lanes.

Comment from @kevin_bullock on 31 July 2019 at 19:08

@HeyItsAdam - yes, in some cases we have limited # of images to select from, so it may happen that the premium and standard are the same.

@iriman - that is great news, thank you. We will look into the misalignment issue, for me it’s most clear at the turning circle to the NE of the bridge.

@Paul Johnson - I’ve never seen a 100m misalignment. A few meters to be expected, 10m is considered an extreme case. Can you send a coordinate or an example?

Comment from Baloo Uriza on 31 July 2019 at 20:04

@Kevin_Bullock: Really just sliding around Tulsa or along the length of US 412, US 169 or US 75 in Oklahoma, you can see it wobble substantially. I think I was looking up northwest of Cashion, OK when I saw it go totally off the rails.

Comment from @kevin_bullock on 31 July 2019 at 20:23

@Paul Johnson - ok I misread your orginal comment, I mistook it as a 100m offset. But you are saying the offset changes within a 100 m stretch of freeway. I am seeing a 3-4m offset along the US 169 here: geo:36.50731,-95.70377?z=19 - but I am not seeing the wobble. If you can send a coordinate I can look into it. (wobble in imagery is usually caused by a bad elevation model, or an old elevation model)

Comment from Prince Kassad on 1 August 2019 at 08:48

I am rather disappointed about the disappearance of the DigitalGlobe layers as of today. Some regions had really high-quality imagery that have now disappeared forever, they’re on none of the Maxar layers and on none of the other imagery providers.

See e. g. https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=17/50.15857/8.99834&layers=N and generally the whole region there that had crisp imagery on DigitalGlobe Standard - Maxar is more current but much lower-resolution and with considerable offset.

I really hope the old imagery can somehow come back, because I was relying on it for my work.

Comment from CENTRALHUB on 2 August 2019 at 17:57

The image distortion in Maxar is extremely horrible and it makes the mapping work become very painful. You can see obvious curve along a straight road now. Houses are facing different direction though they are facing the same direction in the real world.

Besides, in some locations, Maxar is out of dated and it’s data is older than DG Premium imagery.

In summary, Maxar maybe suitable for small scale mapping as supplemental data source. It’s hard for me to trust it for large-scale mapping

Comment from @kevin_bullock on 5 August 2019 at 15:51

@Prince Kassad - the only change I can speak to are the old DigitalGlobe layers now becoming Maxar layers. Most users prefer more recent imagery vs higher resolution. It’s a balance we need to keep. With respect to the offset, please use the imagery offset tools in your editor.

@CENTRALHUB - please provide a location for the issue you mentioned. I don’t understand how houses can now be facing a different direction. In most cases, the new Maxar imagery will be newer data and refreshed more often.

Comment from mirror176 on 17 August 2019 at 15:59

My understanding was that DigitalGlobe standard was lower resolution while Premium being newer, higher resolution including some nonsatellite sources, and better image postprocessing. Was that correct and will that continue or will the two Maxar choices have different meanings? Will there be a way to get an approximate date of the imagery? In Phoenix, AZ I have always had good results of clear imagery without any major skewing of alignment. DigitalGlobe Premium looked to be aerial clarity though often without any steep angles and at a decent time of day for shadows to help see objects heights without often hiding anything. Though new is often great to have, higher resolution, seasonal variations, and differences in time of day and even slight angles from imagery have been necessary to make some of my edits possible. I can start to watch more for strange distortions from Maxar images in areas I work but if even the premium will be significantly lower resolution than Mapbox (=basically the old DigitalGlobe Premium with slightly different final processing) and Bing while having worse offset out of the box compared to DigitalGlobe and Mapbox aerials that i have known offsets for will make it not be my default go to for editing. Whatever the goals and outcome, thanks for being another usable source for us.

Comment from @kevin_bullock on 19 August 2019 at 16:16

Hi Mirror176 - the Maxar layers will be satellite only (for the time being). The older DigitalGlobe layers indeed did share some aerial content with the Mapbox layer. This aerial imagery, typically available over the United States and some parts of Europe, is higher resolution, but infrequently updated. You are correct that the aerial imagery is higher resolution than the satellite imagery. That’s the advantage of flying in the atmosphere vs. flying in outer space. There are also some known offsets in the Maxar satellite imagery, I recommend using the adjust imagery tools in JOSM or ID. We are working to improve the accuracy and reduce these offsets. Seeing a 2m offset should be considered normal for satellite imagery. thanks for your feedback!!

Comment from adiatmad on 12 September 2019 at 02:39

Thank you for all your incredible support for OSM. I wonder about Maxar vintage like DG vintage layer, will it be available in JOSM? Thanks in advance

Comment from Jason Simonsen on 18 September 2019 at 11:23

Firstly, thanks for the imagery.

I am noticing around Brisbane, Australia around a 5 to 10m offset to other image sets.

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