Google unveils high-resolution, cloud-free map of the Earth

Google's attempt to compress the entire world's streets, websites, businesses, and countries into one comprehensive database got another boost today with the announcement of an updated version of Google Maps' Earth view. 

The new imagery offers a nearly cloud-free snapshot of the entire planet, providing unobstructed views of Earth's topography, as well as more detailed looks at previously low-resolution areas of the map. Posting on the company's blog, Google Earth Engine's Matt Hancher said, "we took hundreds of terabytes of data from the USGS's and NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite — sometimes dozens of photos of a single spot in the world—and analyzed the photos to compute a clear view of every place, even in tropical regions that are almost always at least partly cloudy."

Viewed from a zoomed out perspective, the map looks like any other map of the Earth, but zoom in on the newly cleaned up 800,000 megapixel image of the planet and suddenly the image offers a far richer perspective of our world. 

You can check out the new views by firing up Google Earth, or by visiting Google Maps and turning on the satellite mode. 

Via Google

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