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

Oftentimes, there are several aerial imagery sources available for any particular location. When I want to trace the newest features, it is helpful to know which source is the newest one.

However, my particular use case is that I want to check if a particular feature that was added by a new user does really exist. If I knew the date or year at which the different satellite pictures were made, I would be able to tell whether the feature is simply not visible yet because the map tiles are too old, or if it was an act of vandalism.

asked 23 Dec '19, 10:41

westnordost's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I have this same question. How can I figure out what the age of a sat image was?

(27 Dec '19, 19:39) nater111

Some imagery tiles provide metadata, including date of acquisition, for each tile. This information is available in both JOSM and iD (Shift-Ctrl-B) for at least ESRI layers.

In some countries there are also other historical layers which may help. For instance shows various issues of Ordnance Survey StreetView Open Data from 2010-2016. This can assist in more accurate ageing of imagery layers. When one of Bing Streetside, Mapillary or OpenStreetCam imagery is available these can also help.

Most of the time relative age needs to be inferred from imagery itself. In many places this is self-evident, for instance, buildings on what was farmland, but in town centres and long-standing residential suburbs the signs are more subtle. One clue I'm aware of is presence of rooftop solar installations can be a good guide at present because many of these have been put in since 2010 and in many areas there are enough to discriminate between other very similar imagery.

permanent link

answered 23 Dec '19, 14:33

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

edited 24 Dec '19, 10:24

Bing usually has information available on "vintage" in a similar way.

(24 Dec '19, 00:25) InsertUser

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 23 Dec '19, 10:41

question was seen: 1,899 times

last updated: 27 Dec '19, 19:45

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