Google has added 700 trillion pixels of new data to its service. The new map, which activates this week for all users of Google Maps and Google Earth, consists of orbital imagery that is newer, more detailed, and of higher contrast than the previous version.
The new version of the map includes data from Landsat 8, the newer version of the same satellite, letting Google clear the ugly artifacts.
Landsat 8 has been operational since the spring of 2013. Its inclusion helps the new map contain newer data—and, thus, newer structures and points to how Google makes its maps clearer and “cloudless”. Images are not captured on a single shoot by a solitary satellite; Google engineers used a recently developed cartography technique called mosaicking which draws upon the archives of imagery that have been created by the U.S. government’s Landsat program.