Google including public sourced imagery in Google Earth

Is your favourite flying area only covered by fuzzy satellite imagery when reviewing your flight logs? Want to do something about it? The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science has done the hard part to provide the tools, and the fruits of that labour are starting to pop up in Google Earth.

Take a look and see if you have imagery you might want to submit too!

Balloon and kite imagery in Google Earth at Google Lat Long Blog.

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Comment by Gary Mortimer on April 18, 2012 at 12:55pm

Yep they have been doing great things for ages, gosh lets hope they don't decide to enter the T3 and do a better job.......

Here is what Google is saying about adding more, DIYD layer anyone?

Hi Public Laboratory and Grassroots Mapping communities, 

Christiaan Adams here from the Google Earth Outreach team.  We're very excited that we were able to publish some of the imagery from the Public Labs archive into Google Earth!  As you've probably seen by now in the blog post, we published about 45 images into Google Earth's historical imagery database.  To find the images in Google Earth download this kml file, and use it to fly to the image locations in space and time (it will turn on the historical imagery tool for you).  If it's your first time using historical imagery, check out this video tutorial and this user guide.  When you want to go back to seeing the default imagery layer again, you can turn off historical imagery using the button on the toolbar (or the "X" on the time slider control).  As some of you discovered, we picked out a few images that were especially high quality and well geo-referenced to add to the default database for the baselayer imagery in Google Earth andGoogle Maps.  Have fun finding them!  

A few of you will also notice that some of the images from the archive didn't show up in Earth, since they didn't make it through our processing correctly.  We'll try again later, and add them to the KML file if/when they go live.  You may find a few other images that did make it into Earth, but had incorrect geo-referencing so they are distorted and/or shifted away from where they should be.  These are not included in the KML either, but we'll add them if/when we get a chance to fix them.  Also, we only used Public Domain licensed data in the visual spectrum (plus one infrared scene that slipped in).  We might be able to use the Creative Commons Attribution data in the future, but it would take some more legal work to figure out the licensing.  

I'm sure many of you want to know if and when we will add more Public Laboratory imagery to Google Earth.  I personally hope that we can, but unfortunately I can't promise anything right now.  Processing these images into our databases is relatively labor intensive per unit area, since they are significantly smaller than the large satellite datasets we usually work with, and the geo-referencing quality is more variable.  If you all post a lot more interesting, high-quality data, and can show interesting use-cases for having it in Google Earth, it'll make it easier to justify the effort on our end... and of course, we'll keep you posted.  I'll look forward to reviewing the archive with the Public Labs folks in 6 months or so, to look at any new data that is available, and see what we can do.  

Feel free to send any questions, comments or feedback my way.  

Looking forward to working with you all in the future!


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