OpenStreetMap

Bing -- Love or Hate it?

Posted by netman55 on 12 January 2011 in English (English).

I've been using Bing imagery quite a lot recently, but I have come to learn its limitations fairly quickly.

I love it for:

+ Verification/improvement of stuff I've done previously.
+ Doing some quite effective mapping just by making mental notes of things while out & about without my GPS and using the imagery to pinpoint these things

I hate it for:

- These pesky dark shadows that obscure building outlines etc
- Where the imagery is way out of date. This introducing a lot of errors where stuff is being mapped but simply don't exist anymore because the image is a year or more out of date. The area I tend to cover is part of the Thames Gateway which is undergoing a lot of change where huge sites are being cleared to make way for new development. Mapping construction sites from Bing is a big no-no.
- Image quirks such as weird wonky angle that distort outlines badly and photo tiles that are just in the wrong place! Just east of Isle of Grain Kent you will find two identical tiles next to each other!

So temper that enthusiasm to map from Bing with a little commonsense otherwise we will have tons of these red bugs eating our map

Anybody got there love/hates?

Comment from compdude on 12 January 2011 at 19:42

Well, at least it isn't as old as Yahoo's imagery! I've always wished that OSM had Google maps' imagery, because that is updated frequently.

Comment from olejorgenb on 13 January 2011 at 03:10

The age and alignment is the biggest problems imo. Maybe it would be a good idea to display a warning/infobox when the bing layer is first displayed?

Then again.. the yahoo imagery have been used for a long time without problems (?)

Also, when having a high-res photo layer I get the urge to correct/adjust everything ^^

Last, I'd wish there was a road tracer tool, and a generic area tracer, similar to the lakewalker plugin for josm.

Comment from !i! on 13 January 2011 at 06:47

I agree to the others. Before tracing I compare the material with the governent material and so avoid adding old stuff (while adding OSMBugs if there needs something new to be added).

The precisision isn't that bad hrere in Germany, it's better than anything we can get by GPS.

Comment from Sanderd17 on 14 January 2011 at 08:06

For me, I use bing for precision. Take this path: http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/way/94237529

It's a small path between houses, so the gps has a very bad signal. My gps track jumped more than 10m to both sides of the path. If you look on Bing imagery without a GPS track, the path isn't even visible. But if you have both: a GPS track and Bing, you notice the two pairs of houses where there is just a little bit of space in between. So the path is there.

I also use bing to correct way layout. Bing is far more precise around here than a GPS can get. Maybe it will become better when Gallileo comes out in a few years.


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