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Old 24-06-2017, 16:23   #1
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Google Maps Alternative...

Ran across this site I thought I would pass along.

https://zoom.earth/#24.593529,-76.816278,15z,sat

Had been using Google Maps recently in the Bahamas but was disappointed knowing that the imagery was quite old and sometimes had clouds obscuring the view.

The Zoom Earth imagery is definitely way more current. In these comparison shots of the south end of Norman"s Cay you can see the runway has been lengthened and the new marina has been dredged in the Zoom image. Meanwhile, Google is years out of date.

When you zoom all the way in the resolution seems to be about the same between Google and Zoom but I think the saturation and contrast adjustments on the Zoom images make them more readable.

Also, I think the quilting is less obvious in the Zoom images than with Google which is sometimes so crappy that it"s unreadable.

You would think Google with all it's resources could do better. Nice to have an alternative source. Enjoy!
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Old 24-06-2017, 16:56   #2
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Re: Google Maps Alternative...

Here's another comparison of Allens cay. Much easier to read the shoal water at the top of the image with Zoom while Google has the shadow from a cloud obscuring it.

Also, notice the quilting of the top and bottom halves in the Google image where the cloud on the right side of the frame is cut in half and the difference in the visible wave patterns on the surface of the water.
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Old 24-06-2017, 16:58   #3
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Re: Google Maps Alternative...

Sadly the UK, well at least my home is still based on similar images to Google. A tree in the back garden I cut down in 2014 is still shown.

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Old 24-06-2017, 17:41   #4
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Re: Google Maps Alternative...

Well, some images are still 5+ years old. So it ain't that great.
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Old 24-06-2017, 18:13   #5
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Re: Google Maps Alternative...

Are people downloading these images and using them for navigation?
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Old 24-06-2017, 18:17   #6
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Re: Google Maps Alternative...

seems to be the same as bing (microsoft) arial shots.

Still a good find for the Bahamas!
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Old 24-06-2017, 18:28   #7
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Re: Google Maps Alternative...

Thanks for the note about a google maps alternative that sometimes has better imagery. Very nice to know. I've also been frustrated to find satellite images which are useless due to cloud cover.

I'll add, I've found apps like Gaia that allow one to download satellite imagery and save it for later when when one is not online to also be very helpful.
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Old 24-06-2017, 18:40   #8
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Re: Google Maps Alternative...

Using SAS planet gives you a range of source choices including bing, Google, Nokia and Navionics to name a few.
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Old 24-06-2017, 18:41   #9
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Re: Google Maps Alternative...

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxingout View Post
Are people downloading these images and using them for navigation?
Yes. A program called GE2KAP allows you to save the photos with GPS references. You can use tgese .Kap files on open cpn
Quote:
Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
Thanks for the note about a google maps alternative that sometimes has better imagery. Very nice to know. I've also been frustrated to find satellite images which are useless due to cloud cover.

I'll add, I've found apps like Gaia that allow one to download satellite imagery and save it for later when when one is not online to also be very helpful.
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Old 24-06-2017, 19:09   #10
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Re: Google Maps Alternative...

Bing it is, been a while since I looked at what they have. Thanks for pointing that out.

SAS planet looks good, also thought this looked interesting but might take a little effort - https://earthexplorer.usgs.gov
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Old 24-06-2017, 19:25   #11
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Re: Google Maps Alternative...

Quote:
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Are people downloading these images and using them for navigation?
There are places in the Bahamas that even the Explorer Charts call unsurveyed. Satellite imagery can tell much about these shallow areas that charts don't show. The western Carter's Cays in the Abacos for example. The charts make this area look inaccessible when in reality it's a straight shot right up to the western tip of this group. I discovered this by gunkholing, but sat images make the sandbars, etc., much more apparent than the charts do.
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Old 24-06-2017, 21:25   #12
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Re: Google Maps Alternative...

Around here, Google is MUCH more recent.
Google on left, Zoom.Earth on right
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Old 25-06-2017, 03:42   #13
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Re: Google Maps Alternative...

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxingout View Post
Are people downloading these images and using them for navigation?
Goggle earth images, yes.

https://www.venturefarther.com

Can be a very useful addition to charts.

And very occasionally when there are no charts.
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Old 25-06-2017, 06:00   #14
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Re: Google Maps Alternative...

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Around here, Google is MUCH more recent.
Google on left, Zoom.Earth on right
I use these services for work and it all depends.

There will be times when Bing is better and times when Google is better.

Doesn't hurt to check alternate sources if you find an areas with low quality or cloud covered photos. (if there are clouds, try using the google historical images option. Often they are only a month or two older in popular areas, so they may have fewer clouds)
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Old 25-06-2017, 06:28   #15
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Re: Google Maps Alternative...

I'm working off of a tablet at the moment but when I get to my laptop I was gonna spend some time checking these option out which include the USGS site I linked to earlier.

In the meantime I'd be curious to know if anyone has experience with them. 15 Free Satellite Imagery Data Sources - GIS Geography
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