In this article, we will present to you why to use satellite layer in your project, what are satellite data and how maps from these data are created then which satellite data we are hosting for you, and how you can use this data in your project.
About satellite imagery
Sometimes even with the most accurate maps you can't describe/capture the level of detail in our real-world or maybe you want to do some specific analysis of a particular area.
All of this is becoming available thanks to satellite imagery.
Today there are plenty of satellites that are orbiting the globe, that’s the main reason why the availability of satellite data is increasing.
Each of these satellites captures the globe in different spatial, temporal, and spectral resolutions, some of them like MODIS captures the globe in spatial resolution of 100 m/px, others like Sentinel-2 to a couple of meters (10 m/px) or even centimeters 41 cm/px from DigitalGlobe's GeoEye-1.
In the context of temporal resolution, there are satellites that acquire the same spot under the same angle in a couple of days or even days.
All of these satellites, capture images in a different wavelength, which brings different information about the surveyed area, all the acquired information from specific wavelengths are stored in separate bands.
For visual purposes, like creating beautiful satellite maps, normally bands from the visible spectrum would be used like the blue, green, and red bands.
The creation of a beautiful satellite map, it's a bit of alchemy, it is necessary to process a large amount of data with a decent dose of algorithmic art. This is caused by huge variability in the quality of satellite images, e.g. there are parts in the world where it is almost impossible to find satellite images without any artifacts in them like clouds, snow, or shadows.
And that's why we in MapTiler do this tedious work for you and bring the best satellite maps to you in our MapTiler Cloud or thanks to our MapTiler Server you can host your satellite map on your own infrastructure by yourself. On our MapTiler Data page, you can find plenty of data sources, not just satellite data but also orthophoto, different maps, and so on.
MapTiler satellite maps
Are created from data that comes from satellite Sentinel-2 with spatial resolution 10 m/px, for coverage see the official Revisit and Coverage of Sentinel-2 mission from the European Space Agency (ESA). In our Cloud, you can find in overall 4 satellite maps. Our main MapTilerSatellite map is created from Satellite Mediumres 2020 (zoom level 0-13) and aerial data (zoom level 14-19).
Then we have separate satellite map layers from different years Mediumres 2016 (zoom level 0-13), Mediuemres 2018 (zoom level 0-13), and the latest one from Mediumres 2020 (zoom level 0-13). The quality of the maps goes in the same order, 2016 with the least quality to 2020 with the most detailed and highest map quality.
Link to product
10m/px - 20cm/px
Satellite Mediumres 2020
to be released
Satellite Mediumres 2018
2017 and 2018
Satellite Mediumres 2016
Satellite Medium res 2016
It having some qualitative issues (visible clouds) mainly in America, Asia, and areas around the equator. This was caused by the lower temporal resolution of Sentinel-2 around these areas until the year 2017 when Sentinel-2B was launched, which then increased the total revisit time and brought the higher quality of improved Satellite Mediures 2018. Both Satellite Mediumres 2016 and Satellite Mediumres 2018 have visible strips almost in all locations. This is caused by different time periods from which the algorithm was selecting input files for the final map creation. But in the areas like Europe, North Africa, Middle East, and Australia Satellite Mediumres 2016 is fairly looking.
Satellite Mediumres 2018
Thanks to the higher revisit time of twin satellites Sentinel-2A and Sentinel-2B, areas that did not contain clouds increased. Mountain ranges with snow cover look more real, they don’t contain that many clouds as in Mediumres 2016. Most of the coastlines and islands got significant improvement in quality. Asia and also America has fewer clouds on them, but strip visibility caused by different seasons is still significantly present. Finally, improved color toning brought a more realistic look to the satellite map. In Mediumres 2018 you can spot a huge improvement in quality, but we think that it was still far from perfect.
Satellite Mediumres 2020
We improved the algorithm in a way that the artifacts like clouds, snow, and shadows are visible only on a fraction of areas comparing to Satellite Mediumres 2018, also these areas are those with the least significance. We managed to eliminate the strip visibilities that were visible on both Mediumres 2016 and Mediumres 2018, also with the better algorithmic approach of selecting the input files we brought to you a more greeny-looking satellite map. We have also added a new NIR (B08) band to the final product, for analytic purposes. Finally, with the new-looking color toning, you can enjoy an even more realistic feel of a satellite map.
New Mediumres 2020
Let's take a look at some astonishing places on earth that you can find in our new Mediumres 2020.
But there is so much more to see. Find out more at the MapTiler Data page.
Using MapTiler satellite maps
You can find our satellite map on our MapTiler Cloud as MapTiler Satellite, currently, we are using Mediumres 2018 as the source dataset, but in a very short period, we would be switching it to our new Mediumres 2020 satellite map. You can try it for free.
For more info about satellite maps don’t hesitate to visit our MapTiler Satellite page.