Over the past few years, as I’ve attended State of the Map conferences, I’m consistently asked about satellite imagery: how it’s processed, accuracy, coverage, availability, resolution etc. I appreciate the fact that OpenStreetMap contributors are curious experts when it comes to satellite and aerial imagery. The reoccurring theme is: accurate, high-resolution and up-to-date satellite imagery is an essential component for improving this continuously evolving map of our planet – whether it’s to trace new features or to use as a reference layer for validation. Over the past few months, we have been working with several of our partners that share the common goal of improving OpenStreetMap. To that end, they have generously funded the launch of a global imagery service powered by DigitalGlobe Maps API. This will open more data and more imagery to help aid OSM editing for OSM contributors. OSM contributors will see a new imagery source in addition to imagery being provided by our partners Bing and Mapbox. You will now see the following two image services from DigitalGlobe:
DigitalGlobe-Premium is a mosaic composed of DigitalGlobe basemap with select regions filled with +Vivid or custom area of interest imagery, 50cm resolution or better, and refreshed more frequently with ongoing updates
DigitalGlobe-Standard is a curated set of imagery covering 86% of the earth’s landmass, with 30-60cm or resolution where available, backfilled by Landsat. Average age is 2.31 years, with some areas updated 2x year.
We anticipate there will be questions and feedback and want to make sure they are being addressed. We already have an active forum with FAQs here https://mapsapidocs.digitalglobe.com/discuss. This post is replicated on OSM Forum and I’m available on OSM help or you can hit me up directly with any additional questions. We are working to provide metadata (image acquisition date) for all of the imagery provided. This will be a huge tool for OSM mappers. We are also going to post the imagery specification.
We appreciate the OSM community’s awareness and diligence for licensing, so we wanted to be clear on the intended uses for this service. We have a short human readable EULA to summarize terms for editing OpenStreetMap :
DigitalGlobe Satellite EULA: DigitalGlobe, Inc. is pleased to provide its high resolution satellite imagery to OpenStreetMap in support of its mapping initiatives. By using our imagery in the OSM editor, you understand and agree that you may only use our imagery to trace, and validate edits that must be contributed back to OSM. You cannot download our imagery or use our imagery for any other purpose. We retain all right, title and interest in and to our imagery. We provide our imagery “as is,” with all faults and as available; we disclaim all warranties, express or implied, to the extent permitted by applicable law. You can recover from us only direct damages up to an amount equal to the fees you have paid to us to use our imagery on OSM, if any. We are not liable for any other damages, including consequential, lost profits, special, indirect, incidental or punitive damages. Happy mapping!
Attribution should be source=DigitalGlobe
Sincerely, Kevin Bullock