Microsoft today announced an update for the satellite imagery in Bing Maps. The two countries getting the updated imagery are Australia and India.
The total area updated with new images is about 10,805,501 square kilometers; 7,685,768 square kilometers in Australia, and 3,119,733 square kilometers in India. It’s an update for entire countries – from the cities to villages to the middle of nowhere; everything is updated.
Bing Maps updated the satellite imagery for Brazil just last month – that’s more than 8,500,000 square kilometers of area. The update covered both land and water, just like the update for Australia and India.
The Bing team highlights some of the most beautiful imagery from the three countries – you can check them out below.
The business of capturing beautiful sights of our planet Earth is a massive one; Google Maps and Bing Maps are the two prominent consumer-facing products we think of, but there are a lot more uses for such imagery.
The Indian government, for example, peculiarly used satellites launched by its space agency to monitor agricultural sites as a pilot project last year.
Australia’s great barrier reef is “one of a few living structures visible from space” per UNESCO; satellite imagery is used to monitor its state – though, it’s not looking very good.
Google and Microsoft don’t have the luxury of direct access to these images; quite often both companies buy this data from the same providers. Though, of course, it’s not cheap, so refreshes such as this are not as often as one would hope for.
Thanks to the advent of micro-satellites, however, monitoring our planet is only going to get cheaper from here on out. All we need now is a cheap way to put these satellites into a low-earth orbit; folks like ISRO and SpaceX are working on exactly that.
Hopefully, by the time we have cheap space launch capabilities, we will still have a beautiful Earth to put us in awe.