Yesterday we had a look at a way to find recent imagery in Google Earth. We thought it would be interesting to do a survey of the imagery we found and see where Google gets its imagery from. To find the supplier for a given image you simply have to centre the view over the image and zoom in and the supplier is noted in the copyright notice at the bottom centre of the screen. It is helpful to turn off all layers, so the you don’t get copyright notices for other mapping data included.
So, once we outlined all the imagery we had found, we sorted it by supplier and colour coded it for your enjoyment. Sadly, there was no way to easily automate the process, so it is not something we will likely do on a regular basis. Also keep in mind that, given the vast number of areas, we may have made a few mistakes.
We have not yet finished the whole globe (most of Asia is still to be done) so we have implimented it as a network link which you can grab here. We expect to be finished in a couple of days to try refreshing it then for the full picture.
As can be seen from the results, Google’s main imagery providers are DigitalGlobe and CNES/Astrium. However, in the US, Europe and Japan there are areas of aerial imagery collected by Google itself – so there is no on-screen copyright notice at all.