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How does Google Maps use satellites?

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Quick Answer

Google Maps uses high-resolution satellite imagery as part of its software for a number of the world's urban areas. The images of less-populated areas may appear with a lower resolution.

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How does Google Maps use satellites?
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Full Answer

Google Maps is a Web mapping service that offers satellite imagery, street maps, street-view perspectives and route planning. To build up the Google Maps from the satellite data, it first acquires the data through partners. The next step is to engineer the data to get it in the correct format and then consolidate it with other data sources. The tool does a series of operations on the data to get a higher-quality output than the original collected information.

The satellites operated by companies that sell the images to Google are digital cameras in space that take continuous images along strips of land and sea instead of taking individual images. The satellites orbit the earth multiple times in a year and capture the pictures that Google Maps uses.The base layer of a map comes from a variety of sources in different countries. The maps are then compared with the satellite imagery to check whether the digital data matches the physical world.

When browsing Google Maps in satellite view, the location details are not always the most recent available. Satellite updates for some areas take a long time. The military facilities and government offices, for example, have delayed satellite images for security purposes.

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