MapBox, who we mentioned briefly from the Where Conference last year, has just made a very impressive announcement — soon, you’ll be able to grab imagery as fresh as six hours old from many places around the world. With standard imagery taking weeks or months to appear in Google Earth, this would be quite a drastic change.
According to Wired, their initial goal will be on “getting images of news-worthy events ASAP. Images of things like landslides, floods, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, train crashes, oil spills and other disasters, war zones, massive protests or other gatherings, ice-shelf break-ups, etc.”
Unfortunately, MapBox doesn’t allow you to export their data as KML into Google Earth. Perhaps with this new imagery system there will be new ways to download and use it, but time will tell. The MapBox interface is quite nice, but integration with other products such as Google Earth would make it far better.
They plan to launch this new system (“MapBox Satellite Live”) later this summer, so we’ll keep you posted. You can read more about it from this post on their blog.