5 years of Bing satellite imagery

Posted by porjo on 30 November 2015 in English.

5 years ago today Steve Coast announced Microsoft’s decision to open up access to Bing imagery.

I’d be interested to know what proportion of contributions to the database cite Bing as their source, but it would have to be a very large proportion! It makes you wonder, if it weren’t for Bing imagery where OSM would be today?

I’d like to take this oppourtunity to say a big thankyou to Microsoft for allowing the OSM community to use the imagery in the way it has.


Comment from andy mackey on 30 November 2015 at 07:07

It is hard to remember mapping with just GPX traces. Bing was, and is, the most useful tool in the box, but keep uploading traces so we can all check alignment, we should also consider that images may be a few years old so survey as well. I say a big thanks to Steve Coast and to Microsoft Bing for what was a massive step forward for openstreetmap.

Comment from Sanderd17 on 30 November 2015 at 07:20

Bing doesn’t require a source=* tag. So it’s practically impossible to figure out what impact Bing has.

I just know one thing: I’ve used Bing a lot while mapping, even when my source data was actually a survey. Thanks to Bing, the road network in Belgium was completed (it was impossible to find missing roads without aerial images).

Comment from santamariense on 30 November 2015 at 09:57

I believe my contributions without Bing Imagery would be less one per cent of all I have maped until now.

Comment from Jean-Marc Liotier on 30 November 2015 at 10:15

Even my surveys with GPS devices benefit from orbital imagery - and few places I map have any alternatives to Microsoft Bing… My Openstreetmap contributions would be almost nothing without it.

Comment from Tiliae on 30 November 2015 at 10:56

Pretty much this. Bing imagery is just so useful when it comes to correlating recorded video from my dash cam to the GPX track and to the surroundings. E.g. if I see a “speed limit 70km/h” sign at the third tree after the forest to the right ends, that is extremely easy to locate and map correctly. Without the bing imagery as a background reference, this workflow just would not work.

Comment from AKE Amazan on 30 November 2015 at 12:26

yes , my contribution without Bing Imagery would be less accurate

Comment from Nighto on 30 November 2015 at 12:56

It’s huge. I remember that the Yahoo image that was available before was bad, at least here in Rio. Useless for mapping anything other than rivers and maybe large avenues very crudly.

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