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I noticed that that the satellite images are outdated for several years!

Is there a way to update the satellite images? Otherwise it is better to discard the current satellite images as they are now confusing and showing incorrect information!

Kind regards,


asked 20 Apr '13, 20:20

Rob%20Dingemans's gravatar image

Rob Dingemans
accept rate: 0%

You can, sort of, discard them by deselecting that background.

(24 Dec '16, 20:55) andy mackey

Deselecting them, however, will not prevent other (unaware) contributors from being fooled by them.

(25 Dec '16, 01:42) Hjart

I would had thought that even old out date images will have lots of accurate information. Surveying it will confirm what as changed.

(25 Dec '16, 09:12) andy mackey

Yes, even "outdated" imagery generally has lots of accurate and usefull info in them, but in some areas discarding them could actually make good sense. As noted below though this is far from always possible and we'll thus have to rely on contributors being aware of the situation (which unfortunately isn't always the case).

(25 Dec '16, 11:01) Hjart

Aerial and satellite images are only one resource for mapping, and ideally should only be used to supplement other mapping sources. The images are provided by a variety of providers in various parts of the globe and as such are made available 'AS IS' to OpenStreetMap. OSM neither has the resources or rights to drop parts of the imagery provided in these services.

In my own mapping area they aerial images may be as old as 2003 or as recent as last summer (2012): at different zoom levels the images may be from different times. However, even the older imagery is a great improvement on no imagery, a situation which existed until about 2 years ago, as long as it is used appropriately. This merely means that as a mapper I have to use judgement as to how to interpret and use the imagery, exactly as I need to with any other source.

OSM is not a project dedicated to mapping from aerial imagery alone. In fact members of the community take great pride in mapping things as they are built far in advance of any available imagery.

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answered 20 Apr '13, 20:44

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

Rob you didn't indicate where you are mapping and which imagery you were using. There may be other sources available that you could utilize, but we would need such information to determine if that is the case.

The underlying reason that aerial imagery (the high resolution imagery is typically taken from planes) very often is "old" is that it is expensive and time consuming to create. As an example the updated bing imagery for Western Europe has taken a good three years to produce see

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answered 20 Apr '13, 23:17

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 21 Apr '13, 08:37

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question asked: 20 Apr '13, 20:20

question was seen: 5,430 times

last updated: 25 Dec '16, 11:01

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum