Last week DigitalGlobe, one of the primary suppliers of imagery for Google Earth, was given permission to sell higher resolution imagery. Previously they’ve been limited to selling 50 centimeter imagery, but that limitation has been dropped. They’ll now be able to sell their 41 centimeter imagery, and that will drop to 25 centimeter later this year.
While the difference doesn’t sound like much, Mapbox did a great comparison showing how much better 40 centimeter imagery looks when compared to 50 centimeter imagery.
If going from 50 cm resolution to 40 cm resolution sounds like a small change at first, remember that we’re talking about square pixels. When square A is only ¼ longer on a side than square B, it contains more than 150% as much area. Therefore, a slightly smaller linear size means a lot more clarity.
No word on when exactly we’ll begin to see this new imagery, but it sounds like we’ll see some of it within the next few months.
(via the Verge)