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In Belize, there are lots of sections with missing aerial imagery tiles, especially near the coast. This makes editing there very difficult. We have low resolution satellite imagery for all of Belize so can we use this low resolution imagery to fill in the gaps? Even low res tiles are better than no tiles.

asked 05 Dec '13, 21:26

kaldari's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 15 Dec '13, 00:01

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

If I understand you correctly, there is Bing Aerial Imagery for all of the areas you wish to edit, but in some areas it is too low resolution to be able to use it in the in browser editor as it doesn't allow "overzoom" on image tiles.

This is a limitation of the editor. If you would like to do this you will need to download an editor like JOSM and use that. JOSM not only allows you to zoom in on imagery to the point where they become horribly pixellated, but it will let you edit at whatever zoom level you desire.

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answered 21 Dec '13, 18:09

InsertUser's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

Depending on how you can configure the way the imagery is served (WMS and/or TMS), what editor you're using, and the imagery's license, you can use custom imagery in all the editors.

Also, it sounds like you know where the gaps are in the Bing imagery, but you can also use these tools to analyze the resolution and date: Old version Bing Image Analyzer and New version Bing Image Analyzer

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answered 06 Dec '13, 14:53

neuhausr's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

With regard to "We have low resolution satellite imagery for all of Belize" - what would be needed (legally) to be able to use that in OSM?

(06 Dec '13, 14:57) SomeoneElse ♦

The WMS sources page says sources must be "in the public domain, compatibly licensed, or we have permission to use." So it would depend on who took the imagery, and under what terms it was received. If unsure, it'd probably be good to run it by the Data Working Group

(06 Dec '13, 15:46) neuhausr

None of that information is helpful for me. I'm using the browser editor, not any kind of custom application. At the minimum level of zoom required for editing, there are 5 options for background imagery. None of them load anything for Belize except for Bing aerial imagery and it has tons of holes in it. If I zoom out past the minimum level for editing, however, it loads a totally new set of tiles that completely covers all of Belize. If I could use this set of low-res tiles at the minimum zoom level that allows editing, I could do a lot of useful work on lakes, rivers, islands, and coastline.

(14 Dec '13, 21:40) kaldari

I should also mention that what little aerial imagery there is available for Belize is filled with heavy cloud cover. This makes editing much of Belize in the browser editor nearly impossible. According to the WMS sources pages, there should be several other options that are possible, for example, Yahoo aerial imagery, NASA Landsat, and OpenAerialMap, but none of these options are available in the browser editor. Could someone add them?

(14 Dec '13, 22:01) kaldari

The in-browser editors (iD and Potlatch) can only use imagery via TMS. JOSM and Merkaartor are the only editors that support WMS.

(14 Dec '13, 22:37) neuhausr

...although you can use a WMS-to-TMS proxy service, such as Whoots (

(15 Dec '13, 11:28) Richard ♦

This learnosm page might be helpful. Read down to where it says "You can add your own map tiles by clicking on Custom".

(15 Dec '13, 11:42) SomeoneElse ♦

So I tried out the JOSM editor which also offers MapQuest and MapBox aerial imagery, but apparently they are both even worse than the Bing imagery. How do people manage to edit anything in Central America with such poor image coverage? Why doesn't OSM get a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation or somewhere to license better quality imagery? It seems like it would be worth the investment.

(15 Dec '13, 22:27) kaldari

@kaldari: Well, for example by recording GPS tracks. This is how OpenStreetMap started – and it is still needed! In the beginning there was no or only very bad Landsat(?) public domain satellite imagery.

(15 Dec '13, 23:58) aseerel4c26 ♦
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question asked: 05 Dec '13, 21:26

question was seen: 3,943 times

last updated: 21 Dec '13, 18:09

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